Plains honors First Lady Rosalynn Carter Garden with sculpture

PLAINS, Ga. — If you’re looking for a fun day out with a historical twist, head to Plains on Saturday.

It’s outside Albany and the home of former First Lady Rosalynn and former President Jimmy Carter.

The city honors their favorite girl with a larger than life sculpture created by Peter Hazel.

“I can just imagine what she looked like running around there as a little girl,” he described.

Hazel created the now iconic piece in former First Lady Rosalynn Carter’s childhood garden.

It is in the yard next to the house where she grew up.

“We did it in about two months,” he calculated.

The first phase happened last year when they launched the project. Phase two is of course the beautiful sculpture and phase three will happen when they fill the surrounding field with plants which of course will attract butterflies.

Rosalynn’s adored butterflies since she was old enough to walk and play.

The sculpture of the dancing monarch is a nod to his birthday which arrives next week.

He has eight limbs and 18 butterflies hovering above the greenery, thus signifying 8/18.

“I think we hit a home run with the color and the black bodies,” Peter said with a smile. “The first one I did said, ‘What if I took a piece of glass here and put it in black?’ and it was like, ‘Whoa, that’s cool.'”

Tim Buchanan is part of Friends of Jimmy Carter.

“Chip, one of their sons, was here yesterday, and he helped set up one of the members, and he told us both of his parents were incredibly excited about it and can’t wait to see him,” said Tim.

The city will celebrate Butterfly Daze with an unveiling on Saturday morning.

“And we’ll release 250 butterflies,” Tim calculated.

Downtown Plains will have food vendors and children’s activities, but before it’s official, the giant tribute to a woman who loves nature has sparked some curiosity among tourists.

Kemba Breynan and his friends are from Michigan.

“It blended really well with a tree so I didn’t think it was anything at first, but then I saw the butterflies and they are larger than life,” Kemba said.

“So this will be one of the gardens on the butterfly trail,” Tim said.

You can see the trail from downtown, but it spans 48 states and 13 countries.

So fly to Plains this weekend for the colorful celebration that honors Rosalynn Carter, her childhood memories and a life spent admiring monarchs.

Sculptor Peter Hazel is well known – he created the iconic Burning Man piece.

If you can’t come this weekend and want to make your garden part of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Journeyl, no problem – all you have to do is sign up.

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