Next to the Monarch Waystation garden at the Old Jail at 206 N. College Street, local artist Gina Rowland-Paine is creating a 40-foot painting that shows the stages of life for the monarch butterfly. The artwork runs the length of the garden and combines art and science to create a vibrant walkway.
The Monarch Waystation garden was created in 2014 and has nurtured thousands of butterflies and caterpillars over the years. At its fifth anniversary celebration last October, the Franklin-Simpson Garden Club decided they would like to add a painted walkway to the site, to keep parked cars a few feet away from the plants and to provide easier access for visitors.
The Simpson County Historical Society, which owns the site, approved the proposal, and workers from the City of Franklin installed concrete parking curbs in February. Painting of the mural began in April and should be finished this month, weather permitting.
In warmer months at the garden, butterflies will be sipping the nectar of flowers and caterpillars will be busy eating leaves. With the addition of the painted walkway, human visitors will be able see the Monarch as it progresses from egg to hungry caterpillar to chrysalis, and then emerges as a beautiful butterfly, no matter what the season of the year.