The annual Butterfly Fest at Beaver Creek Reserve offered the chance to get up close and personal in the center’s monarch caterpillar lab.
“This is sort of the peak of our season as far as having the most number and largest amount of native species of butterflies in the house so it’s a fun time to just celebrate that and get people out to Beaver Creek before the Butterfly House closes in the fall,” says Brianne Markin, Marketing and Development Coordinator at Beaver Creek.
The lab only opens once per year for this event. Attendees can learn how monarch caterpillars are raised, how they form cocoons and turn into butterflies. People even got the chance to hold them for the purpose of education.
“I’m having fun,” says 7-year-old Jack Anderson. “I’ve been learning about a butterfly’s life cycle.”
Markin says events like this help raise awareness for the importance of butterflies.
“They are important pollinators they have the longest migration of any species,” Markin says. “It’s 1800 miles from here to Mexico so they are doing a lot of pollinating on the way up and down.”
Event attendees learned how they can raise monarchs at their own homes and even just planting some milkweed helps support butterflies.
“The monarch mom will only lay eggs on milk weed,” Markin says. “It’s the only food source for monarch caterpillars it’s really the key piece to the monarch species.”
Some other highlights of the event were face painting, crafts, games, butterfly themed ice cream sundaes and the Butterfly House.
At Beaver Creek, once the male monarchs hatch into butterflies they are brought to the Butterfly House and females are released into the wild. The Butterfly House is also home to several other species of butterflies.
While Butterfly Fest is a one day event, the Butterfly House will be open until Labor Day weekend. For hours click here.