Cultivating species, healing hearts

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Figueroa
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Airmen and civilians gathered at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center’s Butterfly Garden to re-beautify the garden on May 3. The 88th Civil Engineer Group held the event to provide parents who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy or a child a space to remember and celebrate their child.

Staff Sgt. Danielle Hutchins, 88th Communication Squadron Infrastructure Operations supervisor, is one of those parents.

“After I lost my son, the hospital was great during the process, but afterward, I thought there was a need for all of us to come together and talk about it,” Hutchins said. “I think it is going to help our base get that sense of community and to talk to each other and know that we are not alone in these situations.”

Hutchins added that she hopes to have an event every October, which is Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and Infant Loss Awareness Month, where all parents can come together to remember their children.

For Staff Sgt. Sarah Wilson, National Air Space Intelligence Division, Imagery Analyst supervisor, the garden was a wonderful idea. Wilson has never lost a pregnancy or a child, but she struggled with postpartum depression in 2021, after giving birth to her twins. She was finally able to seek help and get better.

“It’s about getting out and talking to people and making these connections with folks and realizing you’re not alone,” Wilson said.

Gary Abfalter, Green County master gardener and a volunteer for over five years, enjoys getting to help in the Butterfly Garden.

“I like the idea that it gives the people who have lost children an opportunity to remember them,” Abfalter said.”

During the event, participants planted nearly 20 varieties of native plants. 88 CEG holds several pollinators-associated events throughout the year.

“These plants will provide a vital habitat to pollinator populations,” said Danielle Trevino, 88th CEG biological scientist. “Planting native habitats for pollinators is one of many management strategies we implement each year to enhance the land on base.”

For more information about the Butterfly Garden, contact Danielle Trevino at