Area in Boyn­ton serves as ed­u­ca­tion re­source for res­i­dents

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Society Scene - Palm Beach - - Short Scenes - By Jan En­goren

If you build it, they will come. In this case, it’s but­ter­flies. The Tampa-based Hous­ing Group, de­vel­op­ers of the 456-unit Se­abourn Cove, part­nered with Boyn­ton Beach and set aside1per­cent of their con­struc­tion bud­get to fund pub­lic art in the city.

The cul­mi­na­tion of th­ese ef­forts is the Old Dixie Eco-Walk, a quar­ter-mile-long path­way on thewest side of Se­abourn Cove along Dixie High­way.

The pro­ject re­for­ested a coastal ur­ban area with na­tive and host lar­val plants de­signed to at­tract12 species of but­ter­flies.

“I don’t think there’s any­thing like this pro­ject,” said Pub­li­cArt Ad­min­is­tra­tor Debby Coles-Dobay, who is ex­cited that she found atala but­ter­fly pupa on the coon­tie plants. “This areawas just grass be­fore, but with pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships, we’ve done a re­for­esta­tion of the ease­ment to at­tract and sus­tain but­ter­flies.”

On a re­cent day, or­ange and yel­low­but­ter­flieswere flut­ter­ing in the air, mim­ick­ing the but­ter­fly de­signs on the pave­ment, which were cre­ated by Palm Beach Gar­dens artist LucyKe­shavarz.

“I’ve de­signed the but­ter­fly stamps in the side­walk ran­domly to in­trigue passers-by and to ap­pear to be float­ing along like real but­ter­flies,” she said.

Ke­shavarz is pres­i­dent of the Art& Cul­tureGroup, which spe­cial­izes in in­te­gra­tive and eco­log­i­cal art.

She did ex­ten­sive re­search on but­ter­flies, na­tive plants and Old Dixie High­way to make sure she struck just the right note.

She col­lab­o­rated with sci­en­tists, in­clud­ing Mary Truglio, of Florida Fish andWildlife Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion, Alana Edwards, of Florida At­lanticUniver­sity’s Cen­ter for En­vi­ron­men­tal Stud­ies, and Jaret Daniels, ofUniver­sity of Florida.

“Thewalk is de­signed to be ed­u­ca­tional and help peo­ple un­der­stand the rea­son it’s here,” Ke­shavarz said.

Ed­u­ca­tional plaques and in­ter­pre­tive panels are af­fixed to the cap rocks to iden­tify the plant and but­ter­fly species.

Tree canopies re­duce car­bon diox­ide lev­els and the heat is­land ef­fect, a phe­nom­e­non whereby cities are usu­ally a fewde­grees warmer than the sur­round­ing ar­eas, and pro­vide food, wa­ter and shel­ter for the but­ter­flies.

Dave Bod­ker, ofDave Bod­ker Land­scapeAr­chi­tec­ture Inc. in Del­ray Beach, cre­ated the land­scap­ing with more than 61 va­ri­eties of Florida na­tive plants, in­clud­ing wild cof­fee, quail­berry, Florida golden aster, tick­seed and wild al­la­manda.

Pho­tos by Kimberli Di­Mare

Old Dixie Eco-Walk

A col­or­ful but­ter­fly rests along the Old Dixie Eco-Walk

Lucy Ke­shavarz

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