Marion Garden Club talks caterpillars and presents scholarship


Members of the Marion Garden Club were treated to a program on caterpillar identification by Erin Garrett at their July 20 meeting.

Garrett, an extension educator at the Metropolis office of the U of I Extension Service, said the caterpillars are the larval stage of butterflies or moths. They can be beneficial or destructive. Caterpillars can be identified by color, body pattern, hair, and additional adornments such as tail, horns, and branching spines. Additionally, caterpillars typically molt five times before forming a cocoon and pupating into a moth or moth. Each type of caterpillar has host plants it feeds on, with native plants being the most important.

Garrett showed pictures of various butterflies and moths and noted the characteristics of each. She provided material on suitable native plants, plants for woodland/shade gardens and plants for pollinator gardens.

The Marion Garden Club/Lorraine Highlander Scholarship was officially presented to Bailey Long, daughter of Steve and Kristy Long. Although she was announced the winner of the scholarship at Marion High School’s scholarship night, she received a check for $1,000 at the reunion, including $500 from the club and $500 from the estate. of Highlander, founding member of the club.

Garden Therapy Chair Mary Helen Yeck reported that she, Linda Minnis, Lynn Love, Connie Hays and Sheila Dingrando visited Fifth Season Residential on July 11 to complete a project with residents. After an icebreaker presentation and discussion on the herbs provided by Yeck, they helped residents participating in the program to make “windmills in a pot”. Windmills were made from paper cards, buttons and a wooden dowel.

Two windmills have been placed in a pot containing a block of florist’s foam. and florist’s foam was added with artificial flowers or seashells to decorate around the windmills.

After the program, club members made “windmills in a jar” for any residents unable to attend. Facility workers placed them on a stage in the cafeteria for everyone to see before giving them to residents.

In other committee reports, Conservation Chair Ronda McWilliams provided a paper on the use of eggshells, which contain calcium and phosphate, in the garden as fertilizer. Horticulture Co-Chair Mary Helen Yeck spoke on ornamental grasses, and Ornithology Chair Kathy Belletire provided an interesting paper on the Great Blue Heron.

President Debbie Lattuca read several thank you notes for financial donations, including one from National Garden Clubs, Inc. for their Running Waters project and one from the Marion Carnegie Library. She noted that a thank you regarding the June garden tour had been sent to the club as well as to several owners participating in the tour.

Photos of the above events and club information can be found at


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