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Flutter by to see the butterflies Aug. 5

Preparing to transform

Submitted photo A Monarch caterpillar feasts on butterfly weed leading up to its transformation into a butterfly.

Butterflies are unique, beautiful and come in an array of colors. They are some of the most beautiful insects in a garden, and people will even plant certain flowers, shrubs and trees to catch a glimpse of their favorite butterfly.

Some people even know the butterfly’s species, which shows how much butterflies mean to people and gardeners. Hurley Park attendees and workers are no exception.

In Hurley Park, we see many pollinators, from honey bees to the lowly moths. I think moths are beautiful too, they just get a bad rap. One thing that all pollinators have in common is that they need a food source. Luckily, Hurley Park provides just that.

Currently, we have different varieties of milkweed in bloom. This is wonderful because it is a host plant for a few butterflies. Being a host plant means that the butterflies can either collect nectar/food from the plant’s flowers and/or the caterpillars can devour the entire plant themselves.

That’s one thing gardeners can sometimes have a hard time dealing with — yes, you will grow these plants so that they can be eaten. If we do not grow these plants, we lose out on our pollinators and of course, our beautiful butterflies. Given that not everyone knows this about pollinators and butterflies, Hurley Park has decided to help educate the public.

Last year, Hurley Park hosted a celebration simply titled, “Butterfly Release.” It was such a success that Hurley Park has now included it into an annual lineup of programs.

The event was conducted by All-A-Flutter Farms, which provided education on butterflies in general, as well as the famous Monarch and even had a Monarch butterfly release.

This year, we will be hosting the event on Sunday, Aug. 5, from 2-4 p.m. near the large (Haden) Gazebo. Mark your calendar because this event will be just as fantastic.

Participants will learn about butterflies, Monarch butterflies and their migration and host plants. Guests will even receive their own milkweed seed to plant at their home gardens. This is a great opportunity to help out our local pollinators since their habitat and host plant locations have dwindled due to urban encroachment and new farming practices. With a little bit of luck and education, we can help our local pollinators thrive for future generations.

For more information on Hurley Park, please visit: https://salisburync.gov/Government/Parks-and-Recreation/Parks/Hurley-Park, like us on Facebook and Instagram, or call us at 704-638-4459. If you would like more information on pollinators, visit: https://growingsmallfarms.ces.ncsu.edu/growingsmallfarms-pollinatorconservation/

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