Grieving pet families can now find solace and tranquility in a new butterfly garden created just for them.
The family-owned Kozy Acres Pet Cemetery and Crematory in Joliet broke ground on its first butterfly garden in February, according to Therese Piazza, one of Kozy Acres’ owners.
Piazza said she’s dreamed of adding that butterfly garden for many years “for people to sit and grieve” in a space of beauty and peace.
She completed the first phase on the 4,000-square-foot space in March.
“There’s plenty of open land out there,” Piazza said. “It’s very peaceful.”
So far, the garden features 80 to 100 native plants so that “every square-inch outside the walkway will just be flowers” and attract plenty of Monarchs, Piazza said.
The butterfly garden also includes walkways, seating areas and decorations that Piazza made herself.
Piazza hopes to build a grotto for the butterfly garden in the fall, which will include a statue of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, she said. St. Francis of Assisi is commemorated on Oct. 4.
She also plans to add more walkways and places for people to sit.
The butterfly garden is near the pet cemetery but it’s not part of it, Piazza said.
“You can’t miss it,” Piazza said.
Pet ashes cannot be scattered in the butterfly garden but Piazza said she might create a second garden in a separate area for the scattering of pet remains.
Currently, Kozy Acres scatters the ashes of communal cremations in a dedicated space in its pet cemetery, Piazza said.
Piazza said the butterfly garden is simply one more feature Kozy Acres offers grieving pet parents to ease the process of losing a beloved pet, the same reason why, 20 years ago, owners put so much effort into the lobby where owners may watch their pet’s cremation .
“You feel like you’re in your own living room,” Piazza said.
Kozy Acres also has a viewing room where loved ones “can spend as much time as they need” saying good-bye to their pets.
Some owners prefer to watch the cremation, while others do not, she said. However, they might like to wait in the butterfly garden, Piazza said.
“It’s incredible,” Piazza said. “I just sit out there and have my lunch. There’s not a better place to be.”
For more information, visit kozyacres.net.