The Watershed Institute’s annual Butterfly Festival was a rousing success, with more than 2,400 attendees enjoying the 19th annual showcase of butterflies, nature and water education.
Visitors at the Aug. 3 festival explored the wildlife inside the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House with its glorious display of monarchs, swallowtails, pearl crescents, and other butterflies. The quickly-moving lines awaiting entry into the butterfly house were entertained by jugglers, unicyclists, dish spinners and other acrobatic feats performed by the Trenton Circus Squad.
Inside the LEED-Platinum certified Watershed Center, attendees visited an array of exhibits created to raise the region’s “Water IQ”. The festival included displays about rain gardens, stormwater management, green infrastructure, rain barrels and other aspects of the Watershed’s River-Friendly program. Visitors could locate their watershed, learn about native plants and grasses, and play games to test their water knowledge.
A fish “touch tank” and other hands-on activities filled Discovery Hall, while the Watershed’s laboratory was filled with an Insect Zoo where naturalists explained the life cycle of local bugs.
Visitors browsed vendors’ booths, enjoyed crafts and face painting, live music and an exotic animal show of rescued skunks, alligators and other critters. Rides on a tractor-drawn hay wagon and an electric train rounded out the activities.
Proceeds from this event help sustain the Watershed’s work in environmental conservation, advocacy, science, and education. The Watershed Institute is a member-supported non-profit dedicated to protecting and restoring clean water and healthy environments in central New Jersey.
Photo credit: Jessica Sanders Photography
courtesy of Jessica Sanders Photography and volunteer Rabia Ahmad.