The free event, a favorite of children and adults alike, celebrates all things butterfly-related. It will be open to the public from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. The park is located at 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield (across from the Horton Smith Golf Course).
The festival showcases the Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House. “At the Butterfly House, you’ll get an up-close look at native butterflies as they lay eggs and transform from egg to caterpillar, from caterpillar to chrysalis and, finally, from chrysalis to butterfly,” said Friends of the Garden member Cindy Willis. A naturalist and environmental educator, she co-chairs the Butterfly Festival with Kauleen Volentine, the organization’s treasurer and an accountant with KPM.
At the nearby butterfly garden, visitors will be able to view and identify host plants such as carrots, dill, fennel, parsley, snapdragons, violets, false indigo, grasses and other annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs and container plants, that attract egg-laying adult butterflies.
“Host plants, together with nectar plants, such as cosmos, asters and black-eyed Susans, can attract an amazing variety of butterflies to the home landscape,” said Willis. “It will be a great two days to chase a butterfly or two and pick up some ideas to try at home.”
Children’s activities include crafts and a caterpillar petting zoo. Vendors will provide a variety of plants and garden-related merchandise.
On Saturday a series of free classes and activities are being offered. They include:
- 10 a.m.: Butterfly photography—how to take great pictures
- 11 a.m.: Butterfly identification—know your backyard visitors
- 1 p.m.: Gardening for butterflies—how to attract butterflies to your home landscape
- 2 p.m.: Butterfly photography—another session of picture-taking tips and tricks
On Sunday the butterfly identification and photography classes will be held at 1 p.m. and the gardening for butterflies classes will be held at 2:30 p.m.
The $3 admission fee to the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, located on the north side of the park, will be waived the two days of the festival. Hours are 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
For those who need a little help getting around the 114-acre park and arboretum free transportation via a canopy-covered tram is available. The tram is sponsored in partnership with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
The 500-member Friends of the Garden volunteer organization has helped raise funds to build a $4.3 million botanical center, planned for a October 2010 opening. The group is now devoted to maintaining the current 22 gardens and adding 23 more. Tax-deductible $25 annual memberships and contributions to the Friends of the Garden Growth and Maintenance Fund are appreciated. Send a check be to P.O. Box 8566, Springfield, Mo., 65801.