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Wilton Manors Elementary School Butterfly Garden Adopted by Local Garden Club

For Immediate Release From: Equality Garden Club Date: October 12, 2020 Contact: Mario Rios Phone: (832) 890-4283 Email: Contact: Gary Petonke Phone: (954) 683-7079 Email: Website:

“Wilton Manors Elementary School Butterfly Garden Adopted by Local Garden Club”

On Thursday October 8, 2020, the Equality Garden (EGC), which is based in Wilton Manors, Board of Directors passed a resolution to adopt the Butterfly Garden in the large atrium of the Wilton Manors Elementary School.

Previously the garden club had partnered with the school to create a Butterfly Garden in the atrium in the center of the school. On Thursday, October 8th, volunteers from the club cleaned up the garden since maintenance of the garden had been overlooked during the pandemic shutdown. From this point on, the garden club will maintain the garden with a regular inspection, along with a bi-annual clean up. EGC members, Mario Rios, Carl Shearer and Linda Gordon coordinated the work with Cathy Cirillo, the school’s Office Manager.

According to Melissa Holtz, Wilton Manors Elementary School Principal: “There are no words to express how thankful we are for the work you did in our garden. It feels like when the children left and we shut down the building in March, that everything around us turned dark and gloomy, but with your hard work and dedication the garden looks alive, bright and beautiful once again. Just in time to welcome our little ones back to school! You are all so amazing and we appreciate it more then you could ever know.”

The atrium, the general gathering place for the students on recess and lunch, now is a much cleaner, more fun and an educational place for the students to enjoy.

The many butterfly plants that were planted included: Giant Milkweed, Tropical Milkweed, Panama Rose, Cassia, Firecracker, Fire bush, and Porterweed, along with herbs: Parsley, Mint, and Lavender.

About Wilton Manors Elementary School

Wilton Manors Elementary is the only public school in the Island City of Wilton Manors and the only authorized IBO/PYP School in Broward County. We have students from over twenty six different countries around the world. Our school promotes high expectations of student achievement. Learning is facilitated by the collaborative efforts of school faculty and staff members, parents, community members, volunteers, and business partners.

About Equality Garden Club

Equality Garden Club is a 501(c)3, non-profit garden club, based in Wilton Manors, FL. The club meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the Wilton Manors Hagan Park Community Center, providing world-class speakers to educate and entertain the membership. Currently the Club is providing these as virtual meetings via Zoom. Additionally the club host’s the popular annual Tropical Plant Fair in March at Richardson Park, in Wilton Manors, along with providing grants to local gardening related projects and organizations.

Aerial view of the new Butterfly Garden Atrium
Aerial view of the new Butterfly Garden Atrium

Equality Garden Club members volunteers.  From Left to right: Marjory Meechan, Mario Rios, Josie Smith Malave, Carl Shearer, Linda Gordon, Angel Giraldo Rodriguez, Helen Smylie
Equality Garden Club members volunteers.



ADDENDUM: Recognition

Our 2020 visit to Wilton Manors Elementary School to rejuvenate their butterfly garden inspired some news coverage. Please click the links below to learn more.


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