The Silva Creek Botanical Garden is currently a project of the Gila Native Plant Society. For several years volunteers have been organized to maintain and care for the Garden. In 2014, we received a PNM Power Up Grant to construct an amphitheater/outdoor classroom, a kiosk, pad for outdoor sculptures and metal artwork that has been positioned around the historic (1906) railroad water tank that is in the Garden. The Garden is located on Virginia Street, 2 blocks north of US 180, between Hill St and State St, across from the Virginia Street Park.
In 2014, we also received a grant from the Wettarau Family Fund to bring in soil, make additional plantings of native plants and restore the central portion of the Garden.
The Butterfly Garden dedicated to Ella Kirk, Ella Myers, and Michael Mahl
In 2015 Aldo Leopold Middle School (ALCS) students, teachers and parent volunteers had a community service day for the Gila Native Plant Society at the Silva Creek Botanical Garden. Elroy Limmer and Charles Holmes had groups of students’ trail building, planting, and hauling debris. Mark Cantrell supervised students in the design and planting of a pollination garden shaped like a butterfly. Tricia Hurley of Lone Mountain Natives helped ALCS secure a grant from KNMB Inc. to pay for the garden.
When the Children’s Butterfly Garden was created, there was a vision and a design for the inclusion of a bench. Heart of the Gila, in collaboration with artist and arts educator, Zoe Wolfe, have donated this tile butterfly masterpiece for the Silva Creek Botanical Garden. The hope is to encourage people, and especially children, to linger longer in the Garden. The cement base was created and installed by Thatcher. Friends and family of Ella, Ella and Michael helped throughout the day. To learn more about supporting pollination gardens like this one, visit heartofthegila.org/butterflywayproject. Pictures, clockwise: Zoe Wolfe, the artist; Thatcher and Zoe lowering the heavy bench; Tule, Grace and River Dahl-Bredine, the first children to sit on the bench.