Discover The sculpture "Nakki," by artist Molly Harrington, is located in the pond at Josephine Sculpture Park. Invasive plant removal began at the park earlier this year to make space for native plants. There are more than 70 sculptures across 30-acres at the park. (Photo submitted)

"Josephine Sculpture Park — where art meets the earth," is not just a tagline used to describe the 30-acre park, featuring over 70 sculptures, located just outside of Frankfort. This ethos is the driving force behind a new project to reintroduce native plants to the park’s landscape, for the benefit of both visitors and wildlife.

The GROW WITH US Reforestation Initiative is a landscaping project that will plant native trees and shrubs throughout the park as an interactive, living sculpture. The native plants will be selected based on their host plant potential.

Host plants provide a variety of wildlife with essential food and shelter, such as birds, butterflies, moths and other pollinators. They also create shade, reduce erosion, filter air pollutants, sequester carbon and beautify the park.

Project partner Inside Out Landscape Design will be creating the landscape design, along with supplying the native plant materials and installation. The project will offer new educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn about native plants, including school groups.

Richard and Anna Marie Rosen learned about the project last spring and were inspired to get involved. They have pledged a $55,000 matching challenge to the GROW WITH US Reforestation Initiative. If JSP can raise $55,000 to match the Rosen’s pledge, then Inside Out Landscape Design will also match the amount by donating the landscape design, plant materials and installation.

Public donations are tax deductible and will be matched dollar for dollar with the pledges. In addition, people or groups donating $500 or more will be included on the permanent donor sign that will be located inside the historic tobacco barn, which is JSP’s new event and classroom space.

“GROW WITH US will make a big impact on our park, our natural landscape and wildlife and the health of our greater community," JSP Founding Director Melanie VanHouten said. "We’ve never had the opportunity to match donations 2:1. The generosity of the Rosens, and Mike and Andrea Mueller, of Inside Out Landscape Design, is truly inspirational and I hope everyone who has ever visited JSP is inspired to donate to this cause and help us meet this challenge.

"Even if you can only share a few dollars, it’s going to make a real difference. This collective effort will impact the park in two major ways: 1) It will reforest the park with native trees and shrubs; and 2) It will help JSP reach our $125,000 fundraising goal to pay off the 10 acres of land that we purchased in 2018.”

Christinia Bell, JSP development director, said GROW WITH US is different from the annual giving campaign in that it will impact the park and community for decades by directly benefiting the natural environment.

"Individuals, businesses or clubs can make donations directly through our website at josephinesculpturepark.org/grow-with-us/ or by check,” Bell said. “We want to make it as easy as possible for you to share your support.”

Contact Bell to learn more about GROW WITH US at JSP at 502-352-7082 ext. 3.

Learn more about JSP at josephinesculpturepark.org and follow the park on social media.

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