The Friends of Fife Creek in Guerneville held a free outdoor celebration on June 27 for their butterfly garden, a restored piece of land on Brookside Lane that now boasts pollinator-friendly plants and a clean area for local flora and fauna.

The event featured tours of the rehabilitated area, photo ops with friendly baby goats, arts and crafts and the appearance of Vira the California Mermaid.

Vira Fauss, the California Mermaid, was the project manager for the butterfly garden project and is one of the founders of the Friends of Fife Creek group.

The plan to create a garden originally stemmed from a $2,500 gift from the Russian River Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who stipulated that it be spent for that purpose. Sonoma Water also provided a $5,000 donation for the project.

“This is a gateway we are beautifying,” Faus told SoCoNews in 2019 at the start of the project.

In 2019, Friends of Fife Creek said they planned to plant 200 perennials on the site and a number of native species such as Milkweed, Alders Pipevine, Penstamon, Agastache, Everlast and Ceanothus.

The area also has been covered with about two to six inches of redwood mulch, which helps create healthy soil, and a 5,000-gallon water tank was installed.

In addition to the butterfly garden project, Friends of Fife Creek also conducts weekly creek cleanups. The group also monitors creek water quality by logging data and sending it to the Community Clean Water Institute.

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