Project Beauti-fly renovates N.C. Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden

Volunteers from Capitol Coffee give life to the N.C. Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden.

Project Beauti-fly renovates N.C. Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden click to enlarge Volunteers at work on the Children's Hospital Butterfly Garden.
Project Beauti-fly renovates N.C. Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden click to enlarge Volunteers gather for a picture at the Butterfly Garden.

Pam Baker, patient coordinator at the N.C. Cancer Hospital’s Patient and Family Resource Center, fondly recalls the opening of the N.C. Children’s Hospital Butterfly Garden in 2005. She remembers watching an elderly man sit down in the garden. The man was hooked up to an IV pole. Just then a black swallowtail butterfly came down and started fluttering around his head.

“The man was watching the butterfly, and it was perfect—our first visitor was there and this beautiful butterfly flew around him,” remembers Baker. “And the smile on his face—he just lit up.”

Last Wednesday, July 31,  a group of volunteers from Capitol Coffee Group teamed up with Baker to renovate and revitalize the Butterfly Garden. Baker’s son, Derek, originally created the garden for his Eagle Scout project with the help of his Boy Scout troop 39, transforming the Atrium into a place of respite. For Derek this was a way to help him through his mom’s own cancer diagnosis.

This year, after losing a beloved pet to cancer, Baker and her family were inspired to renovate the Butterfly Garden. Initially she and her husband planned to do the renovation themselves, with the hope of securing donations along the way. But as they got closer to starting the renovation, Baker crossed paths with John Scott, co-founder of Capitol Coffee, who was looking for a community project. Scott said he had visitors from a national purveyor coming to town and they wanted to partner with Capitol Coffee on a community project.

Scott approached the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in search of a service project and met Baker. They agreed to work together on the Butterfly Garden renovation, and in turn partnered with Bland Landscaping Company, who donated the plants for the garden. Loretta Muss, Coordinator, N.C. Cancer Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Board, used her talents and planned the landscaping design of the renovation project.

Scott and his colleagues at Capitol Coffee are pleased with the results.

“It is certainly a source of pride,” Scott said. “What the Bakers and Capitol Coffee have accomplished will continue to provide a place of peace and solace for patients and their families.”