Butterfly Release returns to garden center
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The Greensburg Garden and Civic Center will hold its third annual Butterfly Release on Aug.14. The event is open to the public, and doors open at noon.
Rick "The Butterfly Guy" Mikula will give a presentation in the center's auditorium at 1 p.m. before the release.
Mr. Mikula, who has appeared on a variety of television shows -- including some on Animal Planet Network and The Discovery Channel -- also wrote "The Family Butterfly Book." It features color photographs, detailed illustrations and instructions on how to attract, safely catch, handle, raise and support butterflies. The book also contains a number of family and classroom experiments and projects involving butterflies.
Mr. Mikula, created the world's first and largest website on the topic, www.butterflywebsite.com, which contains more than 2,500 pages of free information. He is also the owner and operator of Hole in Hand Butterfly Farm in Hazleton, Luzerne County, in eastern Pennsylvania.
After his presentation, the monarch butterflies will be released on the lawn of the garden center at 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg.
"We released four dozen last year, but we plan on having more this year," center president Carla Rusnica said. Garden center members are hoping to have from 100 to 150 monarch butterflies to release.
Mrs. Rusnica said about 300 people attended last year. "It was a huge success," she said.
The garden center's Susan Wisneski said the center is trying to maintain and increase the population of monarch butterflies, whose numbers are dwindling because of habitat destruction and pesticide use, even though they are not yet on the endangered species list.
With some 300 members, the center is a nonprofit corporation that seeks to provide programs on conservation and horticulture to children and adults.
Members come from a number of garden clubs, including the Cheshanac, Eastwood, Murrysville, Irwin and Greenridge garden clubs, Mrs. Rusnica said.
Butterflies that day will be given first to children to release, but anyone can reserve a butterfly to release for $6 by calling the garden center office at 724-837-0245 by Aug. 7.
A butterfly marketplace will be open for the presentation, featuring butterfly nets, strap-on butterfly wings for children, butterfly rings and other jewelry. The Westmoreland County Cultural Trust will provide refreshments.
First Published July 6, 2012 12:00 am