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Late Bloomers Garden Club and the Emerald Trail Butterfly Garden


June 20, 2024

New urban trail in Jacksonville, Florida welcomes butterflies and their benefactors

In 2024, the city of Jacksonville, Florida welcomed the beginning of its exciting new Emerald Trail, a signature outdoor destination of trails, greenways, and parks encircling the city’s urban core. This “emerald necklace” of parks will eventually connect fourteen historic Jacksonville neighborhoods to waterways and to the downtown area. It reflects the original vision conceived over 100 years ago by Henry Klutho, one of the architects instrumental to the rebuilding of Jacksonville after the great fire of 1901.  
In 2021, Late Bloomers Garden Club, always an active voice in civic and conservation projects, voted to award a $25,000 grant to Groundwork Jacksonville, the non-profit organization charged with developing the urban trail. A butterfly garden was installed as part of the first link on the trail. Known as the LaVilla Link, this section winds through the historic LaVilla neighborhood, an important center of African American culture in the first half of the 20th century. In February 2024, members of Late Bloomers Garden Club enjoyed a guided tour of the butterfly garden, seeing the new plants in place and envisioning the blooms to come.  
Butterfly gardens provide healthy habitats for butterflies and other pollinators with plants that support and sustain insects throughout all their life stages.  Butterfly gardens benefit the pollinators by reducing the impact of urban habitat degradation, eventually increasing the diversity of butterflies and other pollinators.  Not only a haven for the area’s native butterfly species, but the garden will also serve as an educational resource bringing nature closer to the community. The newly planted butterfly garden will be filled with native plants that are specifically chosen to attract butterflies. These plants serve as both nectar sources and host plants for caterpillars, ensuring a healthy life cycle for the butterflies.
When complete, the Emerald Trail will spur social and economic development on many levels, from encouraging healthy lifestyles to revitalizing historic neighborhoods, and Late Bloomers looks forward to visiting and supporting the progress of the Emerald Trail Butterfly Garden for years to come.




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