BTV Butterfly Garden Undergoes a Beautiful Metamorphosis

Butterflies symbolize powerful traits across multiple cultures, from transformation, renewal and freedom – to beauty, optimism and resilience. Delicate butterflies serve as one of Earth’s critical pollinators, supporting our ecosystems as they flutter from bloom to bloom. 

Butterfield has enjoyed many butterfly-like residents – people dedicated to spreading joy and quietly doing great things. BTV couple and avid gardeners Hillard and Eloise Jackson made a generous gift to the Butterfield Trail Village Foundation to establish a Health Care Garden over 20 years ago. Located at the southwest entrance of the Health Care Center, the vision for the spot was to offer respite and reflection. Other residents eventually took on the care and upkeep of the garden, and it evolved into a pollinator-friendly greenspace now called the Butterfly Garden.

Nurturing a garden well requires knowledge, an eye for design, energy and tenacity. Master Gardener Jo McClarrinon moved to Butterfield in late 2023 with husband Rick, her able gardening partner of 38 years. Upon meeting long-time resident Ardith Wharry, the couple heard about the Butterfly Garden for the first time. Ardith shared that she had tended to the garden for a few years, but the responsibility was becoming too much and she hoped to find someone to carry the torch. After seeing the space, the McClarrinons knew right away – they wanted to help. 

Rick and Jo began developing a rehabilitation plan, looking for ways to evolve and improve the existing garden design. Their critical, not-so-glamorous first step was to invest significant effort into improving the soil. After hours of working nutrients into the bed and pulling countless weeds out by the roots, they began implementing the design they’d been dreaming about for weeks.

By early May, the McClarrinon’s efforts were visibly paying off in the form of colorful blooms and thriving plants no longer struggling for space. “I believe the opportunity to take care of this garden was put directly into our path by God,” said Jo. “Rick and I think it is so important to give back. Seeing this project come to life and knowing it will bring joy to Butterfield residents and staff means a lot to us.” 

Despite their current high level of physical agility and stamina, Rick and Jo know they will slow down someday. They have created a detailed garden resource guide for those who will be future keepers of the Butterfly Garden – full of details about how to encourage birds and pollinators, the importance of native plants, information on each type of plant and its mapped location. Rick beams when he talks about what they have accomplished as a couple. “She’s the mastermind behind it all. I just provide the muscle,” he laughed.

Gifts to the Butterfield Trail Village Foundation’s Garden Fund are tax- deductible. Visit
or contact Riki Stamps at
(479) 695-8073 or