The Children's Learning Garden is a project of Beth Wegner and Ginger Ross's Junior Master Gardener Club of Tazewell County, under the leadership of Tazewell County Master Gardeners, with contributions from C.B. Smith Elementary School staff and students as well as volunteers from the community. Every C.B. Smith class, or roughly 330 students in total, assisted in supplying materials and planting the garden.
The Children's Learning Garden is a large flower garden in the shape of the Orange and Purple Butterfly (Marpesia marcella) from Peru, along with two large, flower-shaped gardens nearby. It is located on C.B. Smith property in Pekin, Illinois. Started in 2005, the project has expanded in exciting new directions over the years. It serves as a "natural learning laboratory" that ties in all areas of the curriculum and also serves the community as a demonstration garden. Tazewell County Master Gardeners host plant clinics in the Children's Learning Garden annually.
Thanks to the photographic talents of former Junior Master Gardener Joe Wegner, you can watch the progression of this innovative project--from humble beginnings to abundance and splendor. As Beth Wegner says, "It's true butterfly bliss!"