Contraband outside Cary Home leads to clean up

What's growing in your front yard? A tall grassy area around Cary Home for Children in Lafayette caused concern for some.

Posted: May. 15, 2018 6:31 PM
Updated: May. 15, 2018 6:33 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Volunteers are digging up and relocating thousands of native grasses in front of Cary Home for Children in Lafayette.

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In 2013, Cary Home received a $50,000 grant to plant about 9,000 native grasses and plants but it ended up creating safety concerns years later.


"The native species that they planted five or six years ago, have grown much bigger than they anticipated," said Duke Energy Community Relations Manager Dan Rhodes. 

What was created as a fun space for children, has now become a safe haven for contraband.

"We found some cigarettes, some cigarette lighters, some drug paraphernalia," said Cary Home Executive Director Rebecca Humphrey. 

That's why it was time to clean up.

"The most dangerous thing we found today was poison ivy," said Humphrey. "So, nothing today that endangers our workers, our volunteers."

People from the public, Duke Energy, and The Wabash River Enhancement program teamed up to transfer plants from the front yard to the back rain garden.

"There's a learning component to this," said Rhodes. "There is a community group out here that's learning from the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation how to identify these plants and the proper way to transplant so that they are more likely to survive."

Shannon Stanis with the Wabash River Enchancement Corporation said it's good to take the time and effort and the knowledge to identify plants.

"And when to take out those invasive species cause there's different times of the year that's best to do that and it's hard to manage them," said Stanis. 

But many volunteers felt confident after this experience. Some of them plan to care for them at home.

"I'm going to take the yellow plants and some purple plants for my butterfly garden," said Humphrey. 

Cary Home will also be donating some of the plants to area non-profits including the Wabash Center.

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