“Wings in the Park,” an annual community celebration of bees, butterflies and myriad blossoms, will be held Saturday at The Snetsinger Butterfly Garden at Tom Tudek Memorial Park.
This great event is organized by Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County and co-sponsored by Centre Region Parks and Recreation.
The event demonstrates and encourages how we can support our endangered pollinators by providing pollinator-friendly habitat in our own backyards. This year’s event builds on last year’s “Save the Monarchs” campaign, and every household will receive a free orange butterfly milkweed plant (as long as they last) and learn about how we can join the new global efforts to stress the importance of saving this endangered butterfly species. In the past, hundreds of visitors have attended the event to enjoy the various activities and demonstrations.
If you have ever thought about starting a butterfly garden, this is an event that you will definitely want to attend.
The ever-amazing Pollinator Parade kicks off the day with enthusiasts of all ages dressed as their favorite pollinator. Once entering the beauty of the butterfly garden you can participate in a habitat exploration game, “The Great Scavenger Hunt”; get your picture taken as a colorful critter in our “Shutterbug Booth”; learn all about the monarch’s migration; compare a diet with and without pollinators; visit the “Native Bee Hotel”; decorate delicious caterpillar cookies; learn about the butterfly life-cycle; and meet with the one and only Dr. “Butterfly Bob” Snetsinger himself. Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Center for Pollinator Research and Frost Entomological Museum, as well as Discovery Space Children’s Museum of Central PA, ClearWater Conservancy, the Pennsylvania Native Plant Society, Centre County Beekeepers Association and the State College Bird Club will feature special exhibits and projects.
Throughout the event, master gardeners will offer “Habitat Chats” in The Snetsinger Butterfly Garden’s five demonstration gardens, where people can gain insight into the world of pollinators. You will also learn firsthand how to incorporate pollinator-friendly plants and gardening techniques in your home gardens and become an “official” master gardener-certified Pennsylvania pollinator-friendly garden.
Thirteen years ago, this habitat, mainly an old field with an abundance of weeds, had six resident species of butterflies. Today, there are more than 30 resident species of butterflies, and the garden has been enriched with more than 100 species of native plants serving as caterpillar hosts and providing nectar for the adult butterflies.
The Snetsinger Butterfly Garden has become a special place for the public and is visited by youth and school groups, garden clubs, photographers, researchers and thousands of people of all ages each year.
Come out and join “Butterfly Bob” Snetsinger and the Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Centre County for a day of fun and adventure for the whole family while sharing the benefits and delights of pollinator-friendly gardening.
For more information, visit www.snetsingerbutterflygarden.org/wings.html.