Bonni Leu Banyard is remembered as a beloved member of the community and happily served the Stone Ridge Library as a talented and trusted bookkeeper for many years. She also avidly enjoyed gardening, photography and was an exotic bird and animal rescuer.
A steadfast supporter of her community, friendship, gardening and the arts, she bequeathed the Stone Ridge Library with a generous gift from her estate. With the help of her dear friend, Deb Gray from Gardenmakers, and others who knew Bonni well, the idea of a pollinator garden was brought to life.
At her home in Kerhonkson
, Bonni frequently spent time with friends and family either gardening or enjoying her garden. In true community spirit, the new owner gladly allowed Bonni’s friends to divide up many of the plants to help create the new garden space at the library.
The new pollinator garden was planted by Gardenmakers this month
, and it extends from Route 209 to the entrance of the Stone Ridge Library.
Pollinator Gardens are becoming more popular and serve a small, yet much-needed role in the community. The recent decline of bees and butterflies is attributed to the loss of natural habitat and to the use of pesticides in the area. A pollinator garden helps provide food — nectar and pollen — for bees, and provides a habitat (milkweed) for monarch butterflies. Bees are essential for the reproduction of many flowering plants and pollinating agricultural crops. Monarch butterflies are a focus due to their popularity and their highly visible, drastic decline.
“Bonni’s generous gift has allowed us to plant this wonderful pollinator garden and will also allow us to enhance other outside spaces,” Library Board of Trustees president Ethan Plank said. “It is community members like Bonni that make the library such a heartfelt and community-oriented gathering space.”
Another long-time friend of Bonni, Victoria Coyne of Victoria Gardens, remembers her as “someone who allowed her creative talents to influence all aspects of her life, and that she shared these gifts generously with both family and friends.” Bonni is remembered as a teacher, cheerleader, sounding board, wonderful chef, researcher, gardening enthusiast, traveling companion, friend and bookkeeper.
Everyone is encouraged to stop in the Spring at the Stone Ridge Library and enjoy firsthand the beautiful new pollinator garden.