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Nurturing Green Dreams: Teens Blossom in Cincinnati’s Hidden Oasis | Happen Inc. Butterfly Garden


Thanks to Tanya O’Rourke, WCPO for this wonderful segment for Positively Cincinnati on the Happen, Inc. Butterfly Garden funded by Advanced Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center’s Mendelsohn Foundation For The Arts. Love it!

Discover a hidden oasis in the heart of Northside, Cincinnati, where sidewalks, homes, and businesses converge, but green spaces were once a rarity. Behind the tall, black fence of a bustling Northside street, a world of nature’s wonders unfolds.

Happen Inc., a Cincinnati-based non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of families and children, has cultivated a sanctuary dedicated to trees, lawns, and vibrant flowers. Nestled within this tranquil haven lies the enchanting Butterfly Garden, a place where teenagers embark on a journey of growth and discovery.

Amidst the zinnias, marigolds, and the gentle hum of bees, Larkin Overton and her fellow teens tend to the garden’s bounty, learning life lessons beyond the blooms. For Overton, it all began when her parents encouraged her to join Happen Inc. during the summer months. “We learned how to arrange the flowers,” she shares, “We learned how to pick them, cut them. I think it’s just the best because everyone loves flowers.”

Guided by a professional florist, the teens master the art of crafting beautiful bouquets. Recently, their efforts bore fruit as they sold their handiwork, raising funds to the tune of around $130 each. The garden’s patron, Plastic Surgeon John Mendelsohn, echoes their sentiments, “It’s beautifying the area and I love it. it’s great.”

Mendelsohn’s support for Happen Inc. is deeply rooted, driven by a shared belief in fostering creative and bonding experiences. The garden not only imparts essential life skills but also nurtures ecological awareness. “What we really want to try to do is create memories that last a lifetime,” expresses Rueff, a testament to the profound impact of this sanctuary.

As the garden’s blossoms reflect the aspirations of these teens, we stand witness to the cultivation of passions and professions that may flourish for a lifetime. Join us on a journey to Cincinnati’s hidden oasis and witness the transformative power of nature, mentorship, and youthful dedication.