City of Chesterfield's Monarch Grove Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Sculpture Unveiling
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 9, 2023
Update as of May 9, 2023: In the event of inclement weather, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will occur in the Chesterfield Family YMCA's lobby theater.
City of Chesterfield’s Monarch Grove Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Sculpture Unveiling
CHESTERFIELD, Mo.- The City of Chesterfield is hosting a community ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling a new public art installation, “Monarch’s Heavenly Journey,” on the Central Park trail near the entrance to the new Riparian Trail extension at Burkhardt Place on Friday, May 12, 2023, at 11 a.m. This new community area, known as Monarch Grove, is funded by the Rob Kilo Family in collaboration and partnership with the City of Chesterfield and the Chesterfield Family YMCA. The sculpture, 'Monarch's Heavenly Journey' will be unveiled at the event. This event will be during the Friday prior to Mother's Day, which is a celebration honoring mothers and the influence of mothers in society.
Rob Kilo’s late Mother, June Kilo, affectionately known as Grammie June to her grandchildren, loved everything about the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Butterfly House. June loved birds and butterflies, especially the Monarch butterfly. In memory of her, the Rob Kilo family commissioned and designed a Monarch butterfly sculpture. The sculpture and Monarch Grove will create a meeting place, reflection area, and midway trailhead for Chesterfield's new Riparian Trail extension.
Rob worked with the sculptor, Glory Hartsfield, to create an original art piece. The sculpture is 9’ in height, with four ornate yellow trellis columns that will converge at the top where a vibrant Monarch butterfly sits atop facing North. Symbolically, the Monarch emerged from its winter hibernation in the mountains of Mexico and now embarks on its northward journey across the United States. Monarch Grove also has two ‘Cardinal red' metal art benches, part of Chesterfield’s Living Legacy program. Cardinals, which were a favorite of June's, have long symbolized a loved one who has passed away. Some believe that the Cardinal is their loved one, returning for a visit, while others see the Cardinal as a reminder of their dear departed one.
Chesterfield’s Mayor Bob Nation recently signed his fourth Mayor’s Monarch Pledge Proclamation encouraging all members of our community, especially families, to help our migrating Monarch butterflies and pollinators. Rob registered Monarch Grove as a 'Monarch Waystation' to reinforce the need to sustain Monarch butterflies by providing milkweed, nectar sources, and nearby shelter. In addition, Monarch Grove is now registered and recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
For more information about the sculpture and the ribbon-cutting ceremony, visit City of Chesterfield, Missouri | Monarch's Heavenly Journey
About Monarch Grove
Rob Kilo custom designed Monarch Grove, including:
- Commissioned and custom designed 9’ Monarch Butterfly sculpture.
- Two custom designed 'Cardinal red' benches from Chesterfield’s Living Legacy program.
- Pollinator gardens designed to look like a side profile of a Monarch Butterfly facing the lake.
- Wide paths to accommodate two people side by side, such as with a small child, a support dog, or pushing a stroller.
- Native selection of trees, including Wildfire Black Gum, and Cherokee Brave Dogwood.
- Numerous native perennial pollinator plants including Milkweed.
- Seating includes 2 metal benches, 4 natural boulders, and an ADA compliant, wheelchair accessible picnic table that accommodates a wheelchair at either end.
- Registered as a Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch.
- Registered as a National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat.
- Natural boulders selected to be able to sit/lean on them and view the Monarch Grove or the Central Park lake.
- Included input for inclusion and adaptive family-friendly environment. ADA wheelchair space created near the sculpture.
About the Rob Kilo family
Rob & Kathy Kilo, born and raised in St. Louis, have lived in Chesterfield for 17 years. Their daughter, Caroline, graduated from Marquette High School and is a Sophomore at the University of Arkansas, and their son, Niko, is a Senior at Marquette High School and will be attending Indiana University in the Fall. Rob Kilo serves as a Ward IV Committee member, and past Co-Chair, on the Chesterfield Parks, Recreation, and Arts Citizens Advisory Committee. Rob is also an active member in the community, regular attendee of City Council meetings and Chesterfield events, and involved in numerous organizations, including the American Diabetes Association community leadership Board, Ascension’s Knights of Columbus, etc. Rob is an Account Director for Biogen. In addition, the Kilo family’s backyard, which includes a pollinator garden in his mother’s memory, is recognized as a Certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. In memory of his Mother, Rob recently traveled with Natural Habitat Adventures to witness the Monarch butterfly migration in Mexico: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L_Z_WYX684k.
About the Sculptor
Glory Hartsfield is a multimedia artist with an affinity for metalwork in Stella, Missouri. She submitted her Monarch sculpture, “The Portal to Metamorphosis,” along with another sculpture that were selected by the ‘Missouri Sculpture on the Move’ program. Glory was excited to hear from the Kilo family who was inspired by that sculpture to create and commission a new Monarch butterfly sculpture in their Mom’s memory. Glory has many sculptures on exhibit, including: “Portal to Metamorphosis” on display in Sunset Hills beside their City Hall, “Retro Floral Renovation” on display in Maryland Heights in Quiet Hollow Park, and “Symbiosis” on display in Creve Coeur in LaVerne Collins Park.