We’re sharing stories from WHPC members who are out there in our local community being “secretly incredible.” Our second post is from high school student Brittany Barre. Read on to hear how Brittany is making a difference with Community First! Village.
Last spring, I planted a butterfly garden for all the folks at Community First! Village.
Through volunteering with my family with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, I had learned about our Austin neighbors who live at the Village. Around the same time, I was researching ideas for my Girl Scout Gold Award Project. I decided I wanted to do something that would directly benefit the neighbors at the Village. My goal was to assist residents in their journey to emotional, spiritual, and psychological healing. I thought that a butterfly garden might be a great place for neighbors to meditate and enjoy God's beautiful flowers and little creatures. It could also provide sustenance and shelter for butterflies displaced from their homes by urban development.
I reached out to staff at the Village and asked if the community would appreciate having a meditative butterfly garden on the property. They said they would love to have this addition and put me in touch with Heidi, the leader of Genesis Gardens at CFV.
Brittany and Heidi in the Butterfly Garden at Community First! Village.
Before creating the layout of the butterfly garden, I spent several weeks researching which native flowers attracted what type of butterfly. After that, I talked to gardening professionals to gain a better understanding of how to establish and lay out the garden.
Owl butterflies enjoying shade in the garden.
On a cool spring morning in March, my team of volunteers and I planted flowers such as Texas Lantana, Dill, Prairie Verbena, Gregg’s Mistflower, Fall Aster, and Tropical Milkweed. It was painstaking work—tilling the clay soil, laying down heavy mulch, digging multiple holes—but together, we laid the foundation for a flourishing garden and habitat.
Since March, I have checked on the garden weekly to water it, to weed it, and to take photos of its growth and flourishing. Additionally, I have conducted educational tours for the Austin community and for the neighbors at Community First! Village. It really is the perfect place to connect with God or to simply spend a quiet, peaceful moment on a busy day. It’s been such a blessing to meet and hang out with some of the neighbors at the Village when I go out there, too. They are wonderful people who love to laugh and joke with me and my friends. I hope our neighbors will find enjoyment in God’s creation there.
Want to learn more?
Visit Brittany’s website here.