Noelridge News


Noleridge News

Flutterby Acres

2017 was a great year in our butterfly tents. The finer gauger netting seemed to help keep the parasites out much better this year, resulting in much improved numbers in our monarch tenets. Karla McGrail reports that we had 145 adults that hatched from the original 283 eggs that were placed in the tent. 20 of those (10 males, 10 females) were placed in a second tent. This second generation resulted in 402 adults which were released.

If you are interested in following the monarchs that were tagged at Noelridge, you can go to The reports are usually posted in the spring and our monarchs are tagged with the following sequences: XUH350 – 396, XEC905 – 999, XEE000 – 124.

This  project relies on great volunteer leadership from Karla McGrail and from the reliable team of volunteers that monitors and cleans the tents every day throughout the summer. Great work everyone!


 Butterfly tents and adjoining milkweed bed.

Butterfly tents and adjoining milkweed bed.




Noelridge Garden Wins 2016 AAS Landscape Design Award

Noelridge was awarded First Place in the All American Selection Landscape and Garden Design Contest again in 2016. The theme for the 2016 All American Selection Garden was Pollinator Paradise. By collaborating with other local gardens in a Monarch Research Project, Noelridge Park incorporated AAS Winners and native plants in specialized beds, creating a true ‘Pollinator Paradise.’ Two butterfly rearing tents were added to provide an onsite educational component for children and adults to safely observe the stages of development for Monarchs and Swallowtails. Educational tours were provided for children and adults throughout the summer.  Learn more about the AAS Garden here.

 Noelridge 2016 AAS Garden

Noelridge 2016 AAS Garden


Successful Orchid Show

Over 800 people attended the Fifth Annual Eastern Iowa Orchid Show at Noelridge Gardens Greenhousein Cedar Rapids on Oct 15 and 16. Orchid Societies from Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa displayed 424 beautiful orchids in 19 varied displays. Visitors voted the Eastern Iowa Orchid Society Display the 'People's Choice Award' ,the favorite exhibit in the show.  The Batavia Orchid Society from the west suburbs of Chicago received the Show Trophy for the best overall exhibit. Nine national awards were given by the American Orchid Society.  A large orange Vanda from the Noelridge Greenhouse orchid collection received a Highly Commended Certificate for flower quality and a Certificate of Cultural Merit for outstanding plant growth and condition. The plant is probably 40 years old with over 50 flowers. Volunteers, 'Friends of Noelridge', help care for these orchids. This is the 5th national award received in the last 2 years.  Next year's show will be Oct 20 21, 2017 in the same location. Special thanks to show sponsors, Eastern Iowa Orchid Society and Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation. 



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Noelridge Orchids Win Special Awards for Cultural Excellence

Two large, beautiful orchids from Noelridge Greenhouse’s orchid collection were exhibited by the Eastern Iowa Orchid Society at the Wisconsin Orchid Show in the Mitchell Park Domes Botanical Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Sept. 16-18, 2016. Oncidesa Taka (a ‘dancing lady’ orchid) received a national award, Certificate of Cultural Merit, from the American Orchid Society. It had over to 450 bright yellow flowers and buds on 6 bloom shoots displayed evenly on a clean, well grown plant. The clonal name ‘Noelridge’ was added to the plant name as special recognition for this award.  The American Orchid Society will publish the award and photographs of the plant in their international data base and their journal ‘Orchids.’  

A second plant, Dendrobium Green Lantern,   received 1st place and Best of Class ribbons at the orchid show for the best grown specimen plant of the over 400 plants in the show. These two orchids are over 15 years old and are cared for by the Friends of Noelridge volunteer group at the greenhouse.  They will be on display along with many other orchids at the Fifth Annual Eastern Iowa Orchid Show and Sale at Noelridge Greenhouse, 4900 Council Street, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the weekend of October 15th and 16th. The show is free and open to the public.