Kansas Garden Club Butterfly Chairman Donna Schneck
Donna Schneck’s passion for butterflies began in her own backyard when she found caterpillars munching on some of her parsley. At first, she thought they were worms destroying her herbs and wanted to quickly get rid of them. Later at a garden club meeting she learned she had accidentally killed a patch of caterpillars, so she decided to put her efforts into saving them!
Schneck dove into research. She was determined to learn as much as she could about butterflies, the native plants that attract them, and how she could save this endangered species. She collected books, magazines, educational resources, butterfly pins, and every tool she could find on learning more about butterflies.
Her expertise and love for conservation eventually led her to became the Kansas Garden Club Butterfly Chairman, where she reports at state conventions, meetings, and motivates others to add native plants and milkweed to their gardens to help conserve the butterflies.
Now, she is affectionately known as the “Butterfly Lady,” because she always wears a butterfly pin to the state garden meetings. She wants her pins to be a conversation starter for people who don’t know about butterfly conservation.
Schenck said she loves living at Lakeview Village because it provides many opportunities for residents to pursue their conservation efforts. Either in their own backyards, or the Butterfly Garden at the retirement community, Schenck sees many butterflies and other nature looking out her window at her home or in the garden.
She recommends planting milkweed in your backyard to attract more butterflies. However, the milkweed does take time to grow, so residents should know the process might take a few years to see significant change.
Although Schneck has won numerous awards at conventions for her conservation efforts, she said her proudest accomplishment was getting her grandchildren interested in saving butterflies.