There are a ridiculous number of fantastic events going on in Jacksonville, FL, on Saturday, April 27, one of which is a virtual institution in this town: the Butterfly Festival at Tree Hill Nature Center. This year, The Organic Adventurer is very excited to be participating in this celebration of nature, so allow us to tell you a bit about it.
The Butterfly Festival always offers something unique for its thousands of visitors, and this year is no exception! From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., young and old alike can enjoy the live butterfly exhibit. This is a huge attraction at the festival. Take a piece of cantaloupe into the butterfly tent and be enchanted by these delicate creatures.
There will also be hands-on animal encounters, all-day live entertainment, face painting, free kids’ crafts by Pink Flamingo Arts, inflatables and more. Local artists and vendors will have eco-friendly arts and crafts, and a portion of the sales of food, drinks and frozen treats will be donated to Tree Hill. The Organic Adventurer will be there with information on how to integrate healthy, eco-friendly tips, products and methods into your daily life and how you can save money doing it! We’ll also have a raffle for an official Organic Adventurer T-shirt, so stop by our booth and say hello!
Speaking of booths, there are all kinds of educational and environmental organizations out doing their thing at the Butterfly Festival. In years past, we’ve seen the Riverkeeper, the Sierra Club and many more. One year, we even met some folks from the Jax Herpetological Society educating people about reptiles, which was fortunate because, less than a week later, we knew who to call for help with a pygmy rattlesnake!
The highlight of the day, though, will come at 3:30 p.m. when a riot of colorful butterflies is released with the help of a special Dreams Come True child. It really is going to be an amazing day. Tree Hill executive director Mark Mummaw says, “We encourage everyone to come out, connect with nature and have fun while supporting science and nature education in our community.”
That’s a good point: This is, after all, Tree Hill’s biggest fundraising event of the year. So what is Tree Hill and what do they do? What kind of “supporting science and nature education” would you be doing by spending the $5 for adults, $3 for kids, or $4 for seniors, students and military?
First, the 50-acre nature preserve has been providing first-class, hands-on environmental education — not to mention being an oasis of natural beauty in the heart of Arlington — since 1971.
Second, the property features trails, gardens, native and exhibit animals and a hands-on natural history museum and has provided interactive programs and low-cost access to a natural space to over 15,000 visitors this year alone.
Third, Tree Hill does all this promoting of environmental stewardship (which you gotta love!) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In other words, they do a LOT of good for our town, its residents (especially the kids) and our planet.
So do come out this Saturday any time between 10 and 4, have some good family fun, visit with the animals and walk the trails, be one of the first to see Tree Hill’s new Boardwalk Trail, check out local artists and entertainers, see what local environmental groups have going on and support a great organization. Oh, and of course stop by The Organic Adventurer’s booth and get your green (and your wings) on!