SHELL LAKE —The Happy Tonics Butterfly Garden will be downsized in light of the HWY 63 construction project. “Even though it is going to get clipped by the road system, it is okay because we already know about it,” stated Mary Ellen Ryall, founder of the garden.
According to Brad Pederson, city administrator, part of the north end of the garden will be lost due to the a proposal that involves the driveway to Farley’s Auto Body changing to the south end of the building. In addition, the hillside will be softened. “There will be two spots there that are going to get impacted, but I do not think it is major,” explained Pederson.
Ryall and a host of other volunteers started the garden to promote habitat for pollinators like butterflies and, “to teach people that without pollinators you would not even have food,” stated Ryall.
The garden in Shell Lake is one of several butterfly gardens that have sprung up in recent years over increased awareness of the decreased presence of pollinators, and the renewed understanding of how important their part of the food chain is. “It is an integral part of life, and the habitat is part of that,” stated Ryall.
In 2007 the city gave permission to the Happy Tonics organization to start the garden on the city-owned land where it now exists. According to Ryall, Happy Tonics is the non-profit that implemented and maintains the garden. “We have never put a burden on any public fund, we have operated strictly with our own donor base,” explained Ryall.
Source: Washburn County Register