ButterflyFest offers activities for all ages, including butterfly releases, plant sale

October 21st, 2010

(EDITORS: A complete schedule of events follows this release.)

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The fifth annual ButterflyFest at the Florida Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday features free, interactive presentations and activities the entire family will enjoy.

Visitors can listen to presentations about Project Butterfly WINGS, Honduran butterflies and moths, the Monarch Watch organization, worldwide honey bee decline and the migratory patterns of Monarchs. Gardening activities and wildflower walks as well as live butterfly releases will also be offered.

Younger visitors can enjoy arts and crafts, create their own pollinator costumes and participate in a “Pollinator Parade” through the museum. Non-profit organizations will also provide child-friendly activities.

The museum will host a butterfly-friendly plant sale and museum staff will be available to help visitors pick the perfect native nectar, host and accent plants for their gardens. All proceeds from the sale benefit the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

Danscompany of Gainesville, Howard Bishop Middle School Band, Objects in Motion, the University of Florida juggling club and The Sedoctives, UF’s all-female a cappella group, will perform during the festival.

Winners of the photography contest will be announced Oct. 23. Winning photos are scheduled to run in the Oct. 24 edition of The Gainesville Sun, which sponsored the contest. Other ButterflyFest sponsors include Cox Communications and GRU.

Fee-based workshops, field trips and tours that require pre-registration are also available. Workshops include: “Painting Butterflies and Moths” with award-winning artist Mindy Lighthipe, “Monarch Tagging” with keynote speaker Chip R. Taylor, “Picture-Perfect Rainforest Photography,” “Advanced Butterfly Garden Design” and a “Butterfly Rearing Workshop.” Visitors can also participate in a fieldtrip to Paynes Prairie to explore native wildlife or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity.

The McGuire Center is the world’s largest Lepidoptera research and education facility and houses one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths at more than 9 million specimens. Participants may register online at www.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest or by calling 352-273-2062.

ButterflyFest is dedicated to increasing awareness of Florida’s butterflies as fun, fascinating ambassadors to the natural world. Presentations, arts and crafts, workshops, field trips and tours will promote inquiry and provide a call to action for the conservation and preservation of backyard wildlife and habitats.

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Writer: Leeann Bright
Media contact:  Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu

ButterflyFest Activity Schedule
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Oct. 23 -24

Fri. Oct. 22

8-11 a.m. Water and Wildlife field trip (fee based)

1-3 p.m. & 3-5 p.m. Monarch tagging workshop (fee based)

Sat. Oct. 23

8:30-9:30 a.m. Butterflies Behind-the-Scenes Tour (fee based)

8:30-9:30 a.m. Picture Perfect – Rainforest Photography (fee based)

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pollinator Costume Creation

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. ButterflyFest Craft

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Non-profit Organization Family Activities

10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Potted Butterfly Garden Activity

10:30-11 a.m. Pollinator Photography Contest Award Ceremony

11:30 a.m. – noon Butterfly Identification Bingo

11:30 a.m. Pollination Parade

12:30-1:15 p.m. Biodiversity of Butterflies and Moths of Honduras by McGuire Center Director Thomas Emmel and McGuire Center Lepidoptera Curator Jacqueline Miller

1-1:15 p.m. Live Butterfly Release

1:30 p.m. Objects in Motion (live performance)

1:30-2:30 p.m. Monarch Watch presentation by keynote speaker Chip Taylor

2 p.m. Pollination Parade

2:30-3 p.m. Butterfly Identification Bingo

2:30 p.m. Danscompany of Gainesville (live performance)

2:30-3:30 p.m. Advanced Butterfly Garden Design Workshop (fee based)

3:15-4 p.m. Worldwide Honeybee Decline presentation by Wayne “Chappie” McChesney

3:30 -3:45 p.m. Live Butterfly Release

Wildflower walks occur every hour on the hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and last for 20 minutes

Sunday Oct. 24

8:30-9:30 a.m. Butterflies Behind-the-Scenes Tour (fee based)

8:30-9:30 a.m. Picture Perfect – Rainforest Photography (fee based)

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pollinator Costume Creation

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. ButterflyFest Craft

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Non-profit Organization Family Activities

10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Potted Butterfly Garden Activity

11:30 a.m. – noon Butterfly Identification Bingo

11:30 a.m. Pollination Parade

12:30-12:45 p.m. Live Butterfly Release

1 p.m. Sedoctives (live performance)

1:30-2:30 p.m. Migratory Patterns of the Monarch presentation by Chip Taylor

2 p.m. Pollination Parade

2:30-3:30 p.m. Butterfly Rearing Workshop (fee based)

2:30-3:00 p.m. Butterfly Identification Bingo

3 p.m. Howard Bishop Middle School Band (live performance)

3:30-3:45 p.m. Live Butterfly Release

Wildflower walks occur every hour on the hour from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. and last for 20 minutes.

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