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Reddick Mansion’s Gardens receive recognition

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:00 a.m. CST

OTTAWA — The Reddick Mansion Association (RMA) has received several certifications for its gardens. The Gardens at the Reddick Mansion have been recognized as a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and have been named a certified monarch watch stop by the Monarch Watch, an education outreach program based at the University of Kansas. The Reddick Mansion Gardens also include the only certified herb garden in LaSalle County and were recently awarded a Golden Trowel by the Ottawa in Bloom Committee.

The NWF certification recognizes the efforts of the Reddick Mansion Association to create a garden space which improves habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife by providing essential elements — natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. According to Dave Mizejewski, naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, “Providing a home for wildlife in our communities is the demonstration of a healthy and active eco-system. There is no more rewarding way to stay connected to nature right outside your door.”

Becoming a Certified Butterfly Garden and a Monarch Watch Stop required Nancy Barta, RMA board member and chair of the gardens committee, and her crew of volunteers to provide more than 20 varieties of plants specifically for butterflies including milkweed, purple cone flowers, catmint, honeysuckle and bee balm. “We must be doing it right”, said Barta, “because last week I saw Monarch butterflies in the Gardens as well as a Monarch chrysalis.”

Diane Sanders, president of the Reddick Mansion Association, said, “Nancy and the gardening volunteers have been working extremely hard this year. We were all very happy with how our grounds looked during the recent visit by the judges from ‘America in Bloom.’ The judges were especially interested in our herb garden and our quilt garden. ”

The idea of the quilt garden was suggested by RMA board member Hedy Bernholdt, who had seen several in the Amish countryside of Indiana. The pattern of the quilt was designed and laid out with string and stakes with the help of Mike Barta, Nancy’s husband, in the raised flowerbed on the east side of the Mansion.

The RMA invites people to stroll through the gardens and enjoy the lush plants, beautiful flowers, and active wildlife. The Gardens and the Mansion itself are available for rent for private events such as weddings, meetings and parties. For more information, contact the Reddick Mansion at 815-433-6100 or contact@reddickmansion.org. To help in the Gardens, contact Nancy Barta at 815-433-4963 or atrab@mchsi.com.

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