Butterfly Way Station: Helping an Eagle Scout and Our Community

Written by Jillian Cready
Including an interview with Krish Dhanuka

This past summer, Puranik Foundation had the opportunity to transform a Third Ward community park into a butterfly way station. By partnering with Eagle Scout Krish Dhanuka, the block-wide Chess Park gained visitors of humans and insects alike.

We talked with Krish about his project, and what inspired him to focus on butterflies and Chess Park in particular.

“When I was looking for a place to do my Eagle Scout project, I wanted to do it where I could make a big impact, and that is when I found Chess Park. Seeing how Chess Park was currently benefiting the community, and its future potential was really inspiring to me. I figured it would be a great place to do my project,” said Dhanuka.

After assessing the park, Krish then decided to focus on butterfly-attracting flowers and plants that would contribute to a monarch butterfly way station.

“The reason for the Monarch Butterfly Way Station is to sustain monarch butterflies on their migration path from Canada to Mexico and vice versa. While on their migration, they go through multiple generations and need places to sustain themselves. The main plant in the way station is milkweed, which is the only thing monarch caterpillars can eat. The rest of the plants attract other pollinators and animals,” Krish continued.

These plants will be sustained long after this year’s migration, which took place between October 10th-22nd, 2021.

“The park will be beneficial for as long as it stays alive and maintained. If the plants are receiving water we can continuously regrow the milkweed and the way station will stay functional,” Krish discussed.

We will be tending to this location, as one of our many Plant with Puranik projects. These are monthly events where we partner with a local park or community garden to help maintain, build, or expand these cherished areas.

“I would like to follow up on the park and continue to visit it as often as I can. I live about an hour away from the park so I am not able to water it on a daily basis, but I asked Mr. Edward Pettitt to water them. I want to try to keep the park operational as long as possible. Personally, I want to try to get more involved with more non-profits and projects like this one as I grow up, and I also want to try to help as many people as I can by either volunteering in different places or doing more community projects like this one,” Krish added.

We, at Puranik Foundation, were excited to partner with such a passionate student to work on this specific project. We thank Krish, his family, and his fellow scouts who made this possible.

If you or your school have any projects such as this one in mind that need assistance, please contact [email protected]. If you are interested in volunteering on a Plant with Puranik day, please follow us on social media or visit our website to learn more.