‘I started thinking about my granddaughter …’: How this area effort to save butterflies is meant to inspire others

Lisa Reinhard is committed to help the monarch butterfly population, including building a butterfly house on the property at Cedar Springs Pavilion south of Tipp City. CONTRIBUTED.
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Lisa Reinhard is committed to help the monarch butterfly population, including building a butterfly house on the property at Cedar Springs Pavilion south of Tipp City. CONTRIBUTED.

Lisa Reinhard hopes the butterfly house she built serves not only as a safe haven for monarch butterflies but an inspiration to others to help monarchs and save other wildlife.

Reinhard, owner of Cedar Springs Pavilion located off County Road 25A south of Tipp City, wanted to do something with the 17 acres that includes the events venue.

She settled on the Ava’s Butterfly House project after coming across information a few years ago on the threats to monarch butterflies.

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“When I would come out here, I would look to see if there were any monarchs and didn’t see any,” she said.

She contacted the local United States Department of Agriculture office and was told about the Conservation Reserve Program. In the program, she agreed to dedicate seven acres for 10 years in exchange for help planting milkweed — vital to attracting the butterflies — in the field that will be maintained as a wildlife habitat.

“I want to help bring back these monarchs,” Reinhard said. “I started thinking about my granddaughter, Ava. I couldn’t imagine a life without her seeing those beautiful orange and black butterflies. In ’60s, as a kid, they were everywhere.”

Reinhard built the butterfly house with the help of her nephew, Justin Giles of Troy, two years ago.

The butterfly house serves as a safe haven for the monarch butterflies. Reinhard has seen 15 hatched inside this year.

“We go out into the field where there are milkweeds and look for the leaves butterflies have laid eggs on. We bring those into the house to keep safe,” Reinhard said as a few monarchs visited the native Ohio wildflowers in the house.

The butterflies remain in the house about five days “to mate, lay eggs on the milkweed and then we let them go,” she said.

The butterfly house is on private property and not currently open to the public. Reinhard said she hopes by next year to have a program for school and community times to visit.

Ava’s Butterfly House was the setting earlier this month for a memorial butterfly release organized by Lisa’s daughter, Danielle, in memory of Lisa’s son and Danielle’s brother. Dustin Reinhard died in an automobile accident on Sept. 12, 2009.

For more information on the butterfly house, email avasbutterflyhouse@gmail.com .

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com