HARRAH, Okla. (KFOR) – The monarch butterflies approach Main Street from above, looking at the landscape for good places to rest and eat.
Until a few years ago, one stopover was an empty lot.
But Cathey Byerly and a team of volunteer gardeners started growing vegetables, then flowers, native plants, fruit trees and food for pollinators.
“Flowering plants and producing plants,” she points out. “Just about everything.”
Stephanie Jordan with Okies for Monarchs says even the monarch caterpillars like the milkweed and butterfly plants sprinkled through this now very large plot.
“We’re on the monarch superhighway here,” she says. “They basically follow a route that runs along I-35.”
Floating down a few parking spots from the community garden, we found mural artist Chris Presley transforming the metal siding on Fire House No. 1.
“This is not just a mural,” he says. “It’s more like an educational piece.”
“We have the life cycle of a butterfly over here,” he points out, “and the life cycle of milkweed over here.”
He started in late May and had an audience for his first weekend of work.
Harrah Friends of the Park took another empty lot and turned in into a pavilion for food trucks and other vendors.
His larger-than-life depiction of a monarch’s life cycle writes the perfect story for one kind of visitor and acts as a lure to another.
“This mural will be a kind of backdrop for Saturdays on Main, which is why they picked this location.”
There is a farmer’s market every Saturday from May through September where people can buy the extra produce from the community garden.
Once a month, Friends of the Park hosts a celebration.
As green and colorful things continue to grow here, they seem to attract the best kind of attention.