Botanical garden hosts hands-on spring event

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Butterflies Exhibit from TCU Student Media on Vimeo.

Spring is in full bloom and so are the butterflies.
The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is hosting a spring series, Butterflies in the Garden: A Mayan Experience. Guests can see more than 50 species of butterflies at the on-site conservatory until April 3.
“Right away when people walk into the conservatory, they’re getting a tropical experience,” said Larinda Smith, volunteer coordinator for the garden.
Smith said this year’s event is different than events in the past.
“We are allowing gentle touching of the butterflies,” Smith said. “It’s been a great experience for everyone so far because people are getting a one-on-one interaction with the butterflies.”
Janice Schwartz, a visitor to the garden, said she took her two children to the exhibit. She said her children spent the first part of the day in programs that discussed the lifestyles and different types of butterflies.

Map of several butterfly origins within the exhibit.
“After learning about the butterflies, it was great to be able to see and touch them at the end of the day,” Schwartz said. “It seems the kids have a new appreciation for the butterflies because they were able to engage with them.”
Smith said the hands-on approach at the exhibit provides a learning experience to both adults and children in the community.
Erdie Allsup, executive director of the Fort Worth Botanical Society, said all the proceeds from Butterflies in the Garden fund different local projects.
Four organizations were involved in the planning of the exhibit: The Fort Worth Garden Club, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and the Fort Worth Botanical Society.
“In previous years, we’ve budgeted between $100,000 and $150,000,” Allsup said. “This year, the costs remain about the same, but we’re hoping to generate around $300,000.”
Allsup said the four organizations divide the money generated from the event to fund individual projects.
“This year, we created a contest for the local schools where children could create and send in their own logo design,” Allsup said. “Our logo for Butterflies in the Garden comes directly from a student in the local school system.”
The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Entry is $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 3-12. Visitors 65 and older get in for $8.