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Butterflies, Books & Blooms!

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Erin, from Seneca Park Zoo, speaking to everyone about butterflies at the Greece Public Library on Saturday, Aug. 17. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Erin, from the Seneca Park Zoo, speaking to everyone about butterflies at the Greece Public Library on Saturday, Aug. 17. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Our summer Kids Grow Club meeting is always one of our favorites, and this year was no exception!  Once a year we partner with the Greece Public Library and Seneca Park Zoo to teach kids all about butterflies and butterfly gardens.

Caterpillars come before butterflies in nature, and just like that, a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar kicked off the butterfly event this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Caterpillars are the beginnings of butterflies in nature, so we began the butterfly event with a reading of a classic caterpillar book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Over 30 children came to the program held last Saturday, August 17, in the library’s butterfly garden, where they listened to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and then started learning about butterflies from Erin from the zoo.  She told us all about the life cycle of the butterfly, differences between butterflies and moths, the great migration of the Monarch butterflies, and even let a live butterfly walk on everyone’s hands.  She capped it all off with a release of several beautiful monarchs that fluttered all around our heads and rested briefly on several of the garden’s trees before heading off on their way.

A Monarch butterfly held by Erin who walked on all of the children's hands (as well as some adult hands too!) and then was released to start its migration to Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

A Monarch butterfly held by Erin who walked on all of the children’s hands (as well as some adult hands too!) and then was released to start its migration to Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

After the live release, everyone came inside the library’s new media room (a fantastic space for community meetings, projects, programs, etc.) to let their imagination loose in designing and creating their very own butterfly crafts.  We talked with the kids and parents about what makes a good butterfly garden and how to encourage butterflies to make your garden their favorite living space.  See our past blog post for more information on developing your butterfly garden.

Everyone working on their butterfly crafts after the release.  (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Everyone working on their butterfly crafts after the release. (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Many thanks to Pat Lewis at the library for organizing a super fun and educational event, and we of course couldn’t have done it without our four awesome volunteers, Cheyenne, Julianna, Megan and Bao!

Megan and Bao getting a second butterfly flower table ready.  The kids each got a zinnia to take home to start their own butterfly garden! (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Megan and Bao getting a second butterfly flower table ready. The kids each got a zinnia to take home to start their own butterfly garden! (Photo courtesy of Pat Lewis.)

Until next year, we will have to be satisfied with the butterflies we find fluttering around the garden center, like this black swallowtail we saw this week.  Could it be the same one that Steve hatched a couple weeks ago…?

Black swallowtail on the petunias out front -- glad we didn't switch them out to mums yet!

Black swallowtail on the petunias out front — glad we didn’t switch them out to mums yet!

Send us pics of your butterfly spottings and we will tweet them to our followers!

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