ROXANA - The Madison County Homemakers Extension Association planted two butterfly bushes at Roxana Park.

On Wednesday, April 24, 2024, association members gathered at Roxana Park for their monthly meeting and to plant the bushes. They explained that this is one of their many community projects, from sewing blankets for cancer patients to putting together holiday gifts for residents in local nursing homes.

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“That’s what we are known for, helping people in our community,” said Betty Wever, a 50-year member of the organization. “We’ve been at it a long time and we’ve taken from our community, so now it’s time to give back. That’s my motto.”

The Madison County Homemakers Extension members are Difference Makers in their region.

Wever explained that the association is affiliated with the University of Illinois. They previously were known as the Madison County Home Bureau.

Today, they work with the University of Illinois to give back to the community. The university also sends them information about different topics. Wever explained that the recent lessons weren’t of interest to members, so they decided to do something a little different.

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“We’re affiliated with the University of Illinois. They send us lessons, but they’re on cooking and everything, and all of us have cooked forever,” she said. “So a few of us decided, why don’t we do something for the environment?”

Wever said the members recently watched a presentation about bees and pollination, and they all agreed to focus their efforts on the environment. The butterfly bushes will attract butterflies and bees to the park.

The association collaborated with Roxana Park Director Debbie Ferry, who secured the butterfly bushes for them to plant. Wever said Ferry is “a wonderful girl,” and she promised the park staff will keep the bushes trimmed and looking nice. The bushes have been planted next to the gazebo in Roxana Park.

For more information about the Madison County Association for Home and Community Education, visit their official Facebook page or website at

If you have a Difference Makers of the Riverbend idea, e-mail

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