At the Northwestern Mutual Family Fun Farm, nationally renowned horticulturist, author and radio/TV host Melinda Myersassisted children in planting a low-growing, native species butterfly garden. Melinda is ATC’s spokesperson for the Grow Smart program, which helps educate landowners about planting low-growing, native species – especially in the transmission line right-of-way. The Grow Smart Butterfly & Pollinator Garden is in the shape of a butterfly and will become a permanent exhibition garden at the Zoo that will attract pollinators and birds for years to come.
In the US Bank Building Gathering Place (the Zoo’s main entrance), ATC volunteers staffed a booth that educated visitors about pollinators. Kids and adults played Name that Pollinator game, learned about different types of pollinators and picked up their free common milkweed seed packets – along with a few other goodies.
Meanwhile, near the southern shore of Lake Evinrude on the Zoo’s grounds, a local Cub Scout pack from Bay View assisted the Zoo’s forestry crew and other volunteers in planting more than 40 trees. In the coming months, a total of 100 trees will be planted. This is the second year that ATC has granted funding to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, which is used to remove damaged vegetation and invasive species and replace them with native trees and shrubs within the Zoo’s 200 acres. Restoration of the area near the lake helps diversify the plant and animal species, improve air quality, reduce the Zoo’s carbon footprint and enhance the beauty of the grounds.All of these activities – including ATC’s sponsorship, the weather and the many Zoo-goers and participants -- made the weekend’s event quite the party.