Butterflies take off

Nature in focus at CNC

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ROSWELL, Ga. – They started softly, but the calls of “fly” grew louder and excited from the crowd of people watching the little wooden box June 8. Inside the box were hundreds of butterflies of all sorts just waiting to be woken up and escape into the air. And that they did.

The event was part of the two-day weekend at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival, an annual event dedicated to all things fluttery.

With face painting, music, arts and crafts and a butterfly encounter tent, the grounds of the environmental campus next to the ‘Hooch was crowded with families wanting to catch a sight of the winged insects.

Beyond the butterflies themselves, the Butterfly Encounter tent was the star of the show. A mesh tent filled with plants and hundreds of butterflies, it allows visitors to walk among the butterflies in an enclosed space and hand-feed them sugar-on-a-stick.

“For a child, that moment when a butterfly lands on you is one that is filled with such happiness. Of course, the same thing can be said for adults when the butterfly lands on them – somehow you feel like you have been secretly ‘selected’ for that special moment. What we hope the Butterfly Encounter does is inspire each person that these animals need our help to keep them healthy,” said Rebecca Gilbert, CNC community programs director.

All this was done in fun and education, as the CNC staff taught visitors about the part butterflies play in the ecosystem.

“Creating a butterfly garden, no matter the size, is a huge benefit to these important pollinators,” said Lisa Cole, CNC horticulturalist.

While the festival may be over, the Butterfly Encounter tent will stay up until July 13. For more information on this and other events at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, visit them online at http://chattnaturecenter.org.

RN 06-12-14