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By Janet Woody, Librarian, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

naked tree
The Tree Arrives
We recently received an unusual gift, a large, white tree. It was installed in the library last week and looks artsy and a little bit spooky.

Then the butterflies found it. Now it looks warm and cheerful……

butterfly-filled tree

The Butterflies Have Arrived
The butterflies are paper and were installed by Helen MacDonald of the Garden’s Development department.

Butterflies made by kids at Dominion Riverrock

Butterflies made by kids at Dominion Riverrock.

Tango Butterfly

A Tango butterfly

This tree was donated by MeadWestvaco (MWV), a global packaging solutions provider located here in Richmond, Virginia. The origami-style butterflies decorating the tree are made out of MWV’s Tango(R) Digital Coated Cover paper.

The tree was on display at Dominion Riverrock, May 16-18, 2014, which was centered near MWV’s corporate headquarters on 5th Street. Children visiting Dominion Riverrock  decorated lots of paper butterflies which now have a home on our tree.

It’s logical that MeadWestVaco would have a tree display and cover it with paper butterflies – forest products are their business. Sustainability is also part of their business and they look for opportunities all over the world to practice good corporate citizenship. The MeadWestVaco Foundation identifies programs in all of its communities where it can offer volunteer support as well as financial support for worthy endeavors. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is the recipient of a grant this summer supporting our Butterflies LIVE! exhibit in the Conservatory. As part of its global forestry management efforts, MWV recognizes that healthy forests require healthy ecosystems. Butterflies are part of the complex of life in a forest, and are reflections of the health and robustness of the plants, insects, and larger animals which co-exist in the forest.

To complement the MWV butterfly tree, Lewis Ginter will display other 3-dimensional tree forms and titles from its book collection on forests and forest ecology. We share a respect for trees and the environment with MWV, and now we share a butterfly tree. The tree will be on display through October 12, 2014.

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