While many people find most insects to be gross, and possibly even scary, butterflies have seemed to dodge the stigma with their brightly colored wings and enchanting movements. Tree Hill Nature Center in Jacksonville is hosting their annual butterfly release this month and it's an event all butterfly lovers should attend.
According to the information on the official event page, this is a unique community event that culminates in a magical live butterfly release on April 27. There will also be animal encounters, live entertainment, games, vendors (food and craft), and more. Doors open at 10am but the butterfly release will be held at 3:30pm.
Along with the release, there will be a live butterfly house so you can get up close and personal with all the gorgeous butterflies. Tickets for the event are only $5 and parking is free at the designated areas.
This event has been going strong for 15 years and to celebrate the 15th anniversary, the nature center is highlighting their role in promoting local and sustainable foods. Their website states: Tree Hill Nature Center is home to chickens, goats and many species of pollinators. Eggs from the chickens are used to feed our other animals, such as our opossum, Little Bit, but are also donated to Arlington Community Services' food pantry through the Arlington Community Garden. The goats and chickens provide compost for our plants around the property and in the community garden.
While the nature center is still growing its efforts, the community garden was established in 2010 and has already provided over 3,000lb of fresh food to the food pantry!
The butterfly release will not only help the local ecosystem by adding more pollinators to the area, but some also view it as a symbolic representation of birth, renewal, and resurrection.
For more information about the event, including areas to park, you can click here.