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BUTTERFLY RELEASE CELEBRATION

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Butterfly Release Celebration

Saturday, Sept 18, 2021 from 10 am - 4 pm

Sunday, Sept 19, 2021 from 12-5 pm

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To allow for social distancing we have split our Butterfly Release Celebration into

  • 2 days

  • 2 different release sites

  • 3 release times per day

Activities

Monarch Tagging Demonstration

 

Come watch our experts tag monarch butterflies! The Monarch Watch Tagging Program is a large-scale citizen science project started by the non-profit Monarch Watch to help understand the monarch's fall migration through mark and recapture. During the tagging demos, visitors will learn all about the process and how the adhesive tracking tag is placed on a butterfly's wing. And children can even "tag" their own butterfly in a fun DIY necklace craft!

Insect & Pollinator Parade

Show off your best butterfly costume in our Insect & Pollinator Costume Parade great for all ages! Dress up as a butterfly, bee, another pollinator such as birds or bats, or any insect you'd like. The insects and other pollinators will "migrate" along the parade route on our grounds and end at the butterfly release site just in time for release! We will have some costume butterfly wings ($3-30) and insect accessories ($2-6) available for purchase on the day, but here are a few DIY butterfly wing tutorials to get you started!

Butterfly Release


Help us release hundreds of butterflies throughout our release event! Release monarchs for migration as well as other butterfly species so that they may contribute to the local environment. It'll be a sight you won't want to miss and all visitors are welcome to watch!

Saturday
Sept 18, 2021

Session 1

Tagging Demos   10:30 & 10:45 am

Parade                  11:30-11:45 am

Release                 11:45 am

Session 2

Tagging Demos   12:15 & 12:30 pm

Parade                  1:15-1:30 pm

Release                 1:30 pm

Session 3

Tagging Demos   2:00 & 2:15 pm

Parade                  3:00-3:15 pm

Release                 3:15 pm

Sunday

Sept 19, 2021

Session 1

Tagging Demos   12:15 & 12:30 pm

Parade                   1:15-1:30 pm

Release                  1:30 pm

Session 2

Tagging Demos   1:45 & 2:00 pm

Parade                   2:45-3:00 pm

Release                 3:00 pm

Session 3

Tagging Demos   3:15 & 3:30 pm

Parade                  4:15-4:30 pm

Release                 4:30 pm

Locations

Tagging Demos: Nature Playce Pavilion

Release: Log Playground & Nature Playce Amphitheater

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Young visitors march in the Pollinator Parade during the Butterfly Release event at Beech Creek Gardens.

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A tagged and released monarch butterfly rests on a pink zinnia flower before beginning its long journey to Mexico.

A young visitor holds a released monarch butterfly at the Butterfly Release event at Beech Creek Gardens.

Daily Schedule

Tagging Demos, Parades & Release Opportunities

 

Interactive Areas & Crafts

 

Native Ohio Butterflies

  • Take a photo in front of huge whimsical butterfly wings!
     

  • Pretend a butterfly has landed on you with fun temporary tattoos!

Monarch Migration

  • "Tag" your own monarch butterfly that you create, decorate & turn into a necklace/ ornament!
     

  • Pretend to be a migrating monarch or bird with a fun obstacle course!
     

  • Grasp the scale of the monarch migration by viewing their migration route on a giant map of North America

Pollinators

  • Create a festive maraca for the pollinator parade adorned with tinkly bells & colorful ribbons to wave in the parade!
     

  • Play a fun game using bubbles to demonstrate how pollen is spread & collected by pollinators

The purpose of this annual celebration is to...

  • Educate participants about native butterflies, pollinators, and their importance to the environment.
     

  • Inspire people to make better choices to help preserve all pollinators and increase their populations.

And most importantly,
 

  • Offer opportunities for children and adults to be outside engaging with nature, enjoying quality family time, and experiencing the beauty of hundreds of butterflies lifting off in flight.

Admission & Butterfly Preorders

 

Our Butterfly Release is an important fundraiser for our nonprofit organization

General Admission

  • General admission for the Butterfly Release Celebration is our normal summer admission, which is $9 per person for ages 3 & older.

  • Members & children ages 0-2 receive free admission.

  • Includes access to all available areas, exhibits & activities. All visitors in attendance can watch the Butterfly Releases.

  • Butterflies to release are available for an additional donation.

Rain Dates

  • The rain date for Sept 18 is Sept 21 from 2-7 pm.
     The rain date for Sept 19 is Sept 22 from 2-7 pm.

  • If you have preordered a butterfly, your session # (1, 2 or 3) will remain the same, but the release times for the rain dates of Sept 21 & 22 are:

    • Session 1 - 3:30 pm​

    • Session 2 - 5:15 pm

    • Session 3 - 6:30 pm

  • If you cannot attend the rain date for your originally scheduled date, you may instead pick up your butterfly any time during our open hours and release it anywhere within 24 hours.

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Butterfly Preorders & Releasing

  • Butterflies for release are available for a $10 donation per butterfly.

  • Butterfly preorders are strongly encouraged for the release sessions; butterflies will be available while quantities last.

  • Early pickup: September 13-17, during our public open hours.

Small Creature, Big Journey

  • Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies leave their summer breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S. and Canada and travel upwards of 3,000 miles to reach overwintering grounds in southwestern Mexico.
     

  • The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do.
     

  • Decreasing day length and temperatures, along with aging milkweed and nectar sources trigger the migration.
     

  • Unlike summer monarch generations that live for two to six weeks as adults, adults in the migratory (fourth) generation can live for up to nine months.  
     

  • Monarchs rely on instincts to know where they need to migrate to, but scientists are still unsure which instinct the butterflies rely on. Some possibilities are celestial cues (the sun, moon, or stars), earth’s magnetic field, landmarks (mountain ranges or bodies of water), polarized light, infra-red energy perception, or some combination of these cues. Of these, the first two are considered to be the most likely cues that monarchs use to navigate.

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 If the monarch lives in the Eastern states, usually east of the Rocky Mountains, it will migrate to Mexico and hibernate in oyamel fir trees. If the monarch butterfly lives west of the Rocky Mountains, then it will hibernate in and around Pacific Grove, California in eucalyptus trees.