Butterfly habitat on display Saturday on North Side


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Visitors are guaranteed to see one giant butterfly at the new butterfly habitat from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday on Ohio and West Dennick avenues on the North Side.

Neighbors and students pulled together over the summer to transform a pair of vacant, overgrown city lots into a bright spot, according to a news release from the Mahoning County Land Bank.

They cut the grass, raked up leaves, cleaned debris and with the help of a local landscaper, planted pollinator-friendly perennial flowers and plants in an attractive design.

At the center of it all is the outline of a monarch butterfly made entirely of painted and unpainted tires.

The effort was led by Know Your Neighbor Block Watch, a winner of a 2016 Youth Greening Grant from Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. The grant was funded through the Youth Violence Prevention Center at University of Michigan and intended to create new community gathering spaces while engaging youth in community and leadership development.

As the block watch looked at places to install a butterfly habitat, its leaders consulted the county land bank. A pair of land bank-owned vacant lots at Ohio and West Dennick avenues became the project site. The land bank also invested in the installation, thanks to a greening grant it received from The Raymond John Wean Foundation.

The block watch purchased gift cards with Youth Greening Grant funds and gave them to the young participants.

As time goes on, the block watch believes the butterfly habitat will become a living classroom for students at nearby Harding Elementary School and remain a source of pride in the neighborhood.

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