Butterfly Garden celebrates 17th birthday, honors longtime leaders

Jean Davis Honored Butterfly Garden
The Elizabeth Gray Danforth Butterfly Garden at Washington University in St. Louis held its 17th birthday celebration and day of appreciation Oct. 6, during which Jean Davis was honored for her 17 years of volunteer work in keeping up the garden.
(Credit: Jerry naunheim Jr./WUSTL Photos)

The 17th birthday celebration of the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Butterfly Garden, held Oct. 6, drew about 60 guests to enjoy the garden and recognize the efforts of those who have kept up the site for years.

The Butterfly Garden, a project of the Woman’s Club of Washington University, was dedicated in 1996 in honor of Elizabeth “Ibby” Gray Danforth, the late wife of WUSTL Chancellor Emeritus William Danforth.

This year’s event was a day of appreciation for two key people: Jean Davis and Kent Theiling. Davis was honored for her 17 years of leadership as head co-director of the club’s volunteer group that works every Tuesday to maintain the garden. Her vision of a sustainable habitat for the declining butterfly population has expanded the garden from eight varieties of native shrubs and trees to a lush landscape of more than 62.

Theiling, WUSTL’s grounds and landscape design manager, also was honored for his partnership in planning and executing important landscaping and irrigation projects that have allowed the garden to expand and flourish.

Danforth gave opening remarks at the event about his appreciation for the garden that continues to honor his wife and pay tribute to her contributions to the university.

The program concluded with Don Koster, a senior lecturer in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, discussing his Sunflower+ Project in Old North St. Louis, a winner of the Sustainable Land Lab Competition.

Lee Ann Quatro presents vase to Kent Theiling landscape design manager
Lee Anne Quatrano, who helped organize the event,
presents a vase etched with a butterfly during the celebration to Kent
Theiling, WUSTL’s grounds and landscape design manager, in appreciation
of his efforts in managing the garden.
(Credit: Jerry naunheim Jr./WUSTL Photos)