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Published June 22nd, 2022
Garden Club event underscores impact of butterflies in a community
From left: Julie Stagg, Mayor Steve Woehleke and Bobbie Preston Photos Linda U Foley

The eagerly awaited June 5 Monarch Garden Celebration dawned inhospitably to drizzle and rain. Undeterred, Bobbie Preston and Julie Stagg at the helm - co-founders of the "Moraga for Monarchs" project - fluttered about with last-minute decorations and instructions at Rancho Laguna Park.
The Garden was completed during the height of the pandemic and brought the town, merchants, schools, scouts, and philanthropists together.
"But, where are the butterflies?" asked one little girl. Her mother, Breyana, wisely replied, "They are taking shelter from the rain, that's why you don't see them."
The Garden is now in full resplendent display and several fragile tenants have been sighted already this season. Nonetheless, there were wings and butterflies everywhere: attached to little girls and adults, laminated cutouts swinging from branches, stenciled on shirts, stamped on cheeks and visible in distinctive jewelry.
Andy Boggeri, president of the Moraga Lions that provided the food good-naturedly brandished man-sized wings. Police officers flanking Chief Jon King and Mayor Steve Woehleke were also into the swing with their wings. Firefighters, sans wings, enjoyed seeing everyone else's.
Preston and Stagg practically floated in their gossamer attire. The uncontested star of the show was WINGS, the graceful Monarch butterfly sculpted by Patrick E and gifted to the Monarch Habitat by Norman and Janet Pease, in honor of their family.
Bookending WINGS and stretching a red ribbon between themselves, Preston and Stagg addressed the audience and gave deserved kudos with flourish. Mayor Woehleke accepted the Garden from the Garden Club and cut the red ribbon.Then followed a small but chatty butterfly parade which circled the park including Bozley the dog who displayed a large butterfly on his curly back.
Benches and tables filled with folks including many town officials. Barbecuing aromas, music, vibrant conversations and laughter buoyed on the air.
Thanks to the herculean efforts by Preston and Stagg - in conjunction with artists and numerous unnamed supporters - the town is collectively privy to enjoy countless hours in a magical setting.
The Monarch Habitat is an ongoing project. To learn more about it, how to contribute, participate or join the Garden Club, go to: www.moragagardenclub.com.

Photo Linda U Foley

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