It’s the week of July 4, and summer calendars are filling up fast. If you enjoy gardening, here’s a date you’ll want to add to your list of fun activities: Saturday, Aug. 18.
Beginning at 10 a.m., 9 a.m. for members, the Dunwoody Nature Center will host its signature event, the Butterfly Festival, in Dunwoody Park.
The highlight of the festival will be a 20x20-foot walk-through tent filled with hundreds of butterflies. The butterflies will be loose and flitting about, feeding on fruit and nectar-producing flowers. Visitors will also be able to get in on the act and feed them from Q-tips dipped in red Gatorade. Representatives from the company that will supply the butterflies, Greathouse Butterfly Farm in Earleton, Fla., will be on hand to guide people through the tent and answer questions about butterflies.
To help visitors avoid waiting in long lines to see the butterflies, the Nature Center will sell advance tickets with timed entry to the tent. A complete schedule of events and ticket and other information about the festival will be posted on the Nature Center’s website after the Fourth of July holiday week.
Events will focus on three areas: education, crafts and games.
The educational stations will feature:
- Beekeeping, which will be staffed by beekeepers who will talk about pollination.
- Butterflies, which will be staffed by Master Gardeners who will offer advice about what to plant in gardens to attract butterflies.
- Raptors, which will be staffed by Nature’s Echo in Pine Mountain, Ga., which will bring birds of prey and in-flight demonstrations.
Ideas for crafts are still being developed, but the stations will have a butterfly theme. In the past the children have made butterfly wings and/or hats and used watercolors, coffee filters and pipe cleaners to make imitation butterflies.
An interesting game will be a geocaching exercise using a GPS to go on a treasure hunt. The prize will be a buried butterfly box with a special prize inside.
There will also be plenty of fun activities. There will be a musician-led butterfly parade with children dressed in butterfly costumes they made, misting stations to help people stay cool, face-painting, tours of the garden led by Master Gardeners and lots of food and drink for purchase.
Because the Nature Center is expecting 1,500 people, there will be no on-site parking. Alan Mothner, executive director of the center, is arranging for off-site parking with free shuttle service. Details about the shuttle service will be posted on the Nature Center website with the event schedule.
“For tickets, we have actually lowered the price versus years past to help make it a more affordable daylong family event,” Mothner said. Tickets for the event, which ends at 3 p.m., are: $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12 and free to children ages 3 and under.
In other gardening news …
This is the last day in the second round of voting in the Edy’s Fruit Bars Communities Take Root orchard contest. Voting ends tonight at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winners will be announced Tuesday, July 3 at noon ET.
The Dunwoody Community Garden is in position to be one of four gardens that will be announced as second round winners. To support the garden, visit the website and follow the prompts to vote. A voting shortcut is to go to the Leaders tab on the main page. You can access the Dunwoody garden voting site from this tab.