Tuesday, August 4, 2015

You May Be Shocked

You may be shocked to learn how many families had their Kroger Plus card linked to support the Butterfly Garden. I know I was shocked... the total number of families linked during this past year was 3.   Yes... THREE families, and ours was one of the THREE.  

In years past, money from the Kroger Program has provided, tools, plants, trees, and soil conditioner at various times.  This year the amount made was not enough to even have Kroger send a check.  Despite strong support in the 2007-2011 time frame, support now has been essentially NIL. 

It costs nothing to sign up and it does not detract from your Kroger Fuel Points.... but you do need to "RE-LINK" your card each year by going on-line.  It was this change that seemed to kill the important source of income for the garden.

And this is the month Butterfly Garden supporters can start RE-LINKING their Kroger Plus Card for the 2015/2016  program to continue supporting the garden. Just visit Kroger's secure website www.KrogerCommunityRewards.com to link your Kroger plus Card.
   The Butterfly Garden's number is 82607  and is under Association for Better Community Schools

I If you have problems signing in or creating an account please call Online Account Customer Service: 1-866-221-4141

When you shop at Kroger using your Kroger Plus Card, you will be accumulating rewards toward the 2015-2016 program. Purchases will not count until you register online, once each year in August..

All supporters must have a registered Kroger Plus card account online to be able to link their card to the garden, whose number is 82607.   Do you use your phone number at the register? Call 800-576-4377 and select option 4 to get your Plus Card number. • If you do not have a Kroger plus Card, they are available at the customer service desk at any Kroger. 

Register online at www.KrogerCommunityRewards.com. If you are a new online customer, click on SIGN UP TODAY in the ‘New Customer?’ box to register. To sign up you will need to enter your zip code, click on favorite store, enter your email address, create a password, and agree to the terms and conditions. Once you are done entering your information you will get a message asking you to check your e-mail inbox and click on the link within the body of the e-mail that was sent. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

Join the Parade

Our subdivision of Norchester will have its traditional July 4th parade of kids, walkers, decorated bicycles, floats, and misc. other interesting people and vehicles. 

Beginning at 10:00 AM, it starts at the north end of the subdivision at Laneview and Balcrest and proceeds south down Balcrest to the Norchester activity center on Jones Rd.

Come and join the parade or be an enthusiastic bystander.  
The Norchester Garden Club will have a float featuring one of its projects, the Matzke Park Butterfly Garden. The garden is in full bloom and great shape so plan on a visit after the parade and take some pictures with the kiddos at the activity center or the garden.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

National Pollinator Week

If you like plants... here is an interesting link to information on National "Pollinator Week" which is June 15-21.

http://texasbutterflyranch.com/

Bee on sunflower

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tree Damage

As many of you know..  Association for Better Community Schools (ABCS) and Norchester Garden Club have provided many of the new trees for the park as well as creating and maintaining the garden. The last group of 7 trees donated by ABCS cost $1400.00 and the park staff have done a great job of planting and caring for them.  There is, however, a problem with one or more of the "Fitness Trainers" who exercise with their customers in the park in recent days. These pictures were taken the morning of May 28, 2015.
This fine young tree is in a prominent location by the monument.  It looks fine from this direction.    But closer inspection shows the very severe damage to the bark on the other side. 

The damage is caused by these fitness groups placing exercise bands around the base of the tree, which they then stretch and "saw" back and forth as part of an exercise routine.   The trainer has been told to stop this practice by the park staff.

A related problem is the use of the park benches (donated at $1000 each) for stepping up and down on, etc.  The composition slats in the benches do break. 

If you see such practices... please: 

1.. Say something to the individuals involved.. ask them to stop. You can also tell them that exercise equipment/stations are on order for this park so that such folks will have a proper place and means for their workouts.

2..  If you feel uncomfortable confronting such behavior, please inform park staff immediately as they are usually present. 

3..   If park staff are absent or not readily available, please call the Pct #4 constable number 281-376-3472 and request an officer stop by.  The park is part of their area of responsibility.

Little can be done for such damage, and with half the circumference of the trunk being damaged.. it is somewhat unlikely that this tree will survive. The best that can be done is to clean up the damaged area and let it try to heal by itself.  It is not recommended that a sealant of any kind be placed on such a wound. 

Here is a link to what A&M has to say.. HERE

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Monarch Butterfly Look-Alikes



Four Fast Facts about Monarch Butterflies
  1. Monarchs know the right direction to migrate even though they have never made the journey before. They have a sun compass, with receptors in their antennae—and use an internal magnetic compass on overcast days.
  2. Milkweed is the one and only host plant for monarch caterpillars.
  3. Monarch populations have dropped 90 percent in the past 20 years due to massive habitat destruction and pesticides.
  4. The grassland prairies that run through the middle of our country provide one of the most crucial monarch habitat corridors in the world.

Learn how to tell monarchs apart from viceroy and queen butterflies.
An orange, black and white butterfly alights on a milkweed blooming in your garden. But is it a monarch butterfly? Or is it a viceroy or queen butterfly? Do you know how to tell the difference?
Don’t be fooled! Learn how to distinguish monarchs from their look-alikes by taking our Monarch ID Quiz by   Clicking Here

Monday, May 4, 2015

Flag Time Once Again


Norchester looks particularly nice on these "flag days" the band provides.  



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

More About Milkweed

We have featured milkweed and Monarchs a number of times on this blog... Here we go once again.

We came upon two articles from the National Wildlife Federation and Monarch Watch on our friends and their favorite plant.. milkweed, that are worth a review.  Both are several pages with lots of pictures and other links so I have downloaded them as pdf files which you can also review and download as you choose.  Both are links to our DropBox so just click on them, and be patient while they load on your screen. You don't need to have DropBox or sign in for anything.
 The first one describes twelve native varieties of butterfly weed for monarchs. Each has a picture and some background information.  That link is HERE




The second article
has some additional information along with links to other resources on the butterflies and their plants.  It may be found
HERE