The grand opening of Butterflies in the Garden: The Mayan Experience gathered members of the community together to celebrate.
Luis Hernandez was one of the reasons why.
Hernandez, a first-year student at South Hills High School, was this year’s winner of the 2nd annual logo design contest. His design was chosen by the Butterfly Garden Committee and is featured on the website, promotional signs, and Botanic Garden Merchandise.
Hernandez received a gift on behalf of the City of Fort Worth from City Councilman Dennis Shingleton and was chosen to cut the exhibit’s ceremonial ribbon.
Hernandez said he tried to incorporate the exhibit’s Mayan theme into his design.
“I was thinking of Maya traditions and tried to make a design similar to their style of rock carvings,” he said.
Hernandez wasn’t the only one being honored. Members of the board for the Botanical Research institute of Texas were also recognized.
Senior vice president of B.R.I.T Pat Harrison said the conservatory is important because of its ability to impact its guests’ perception of nature.
“I think my favorite part about today’s ceremony is getting new guests into the conservatory,” she said. “Interacting with the butterflies really helps them understand the value of nature.”
Even though the Botanic Garden held its public opening on March 1, B.R.I.T. Marketing and Public Relations Director Chris Chilton said they had a delayed second opening to accommodate schedules.
“It’s much easier to get all these guests here together on a Saturday, than a Tuesday,” he said.
In addition to logistics, Chilton said media sponsors also played a role in the decision.
“WFAA sponsored the exhibits opening on March 1. They created a public service announcement to help promote the event and we were featured on Good Morning Texas.”
While the guests are observing the butterflies in the conservatory, Education Director Gail Manning and TCU Butterfly Intern Michael Kaufman are behind the scenes raising the insects until they are ready to be released into the exhibit.
Each week, Manning and Kaufman release at least 150 new butterflies into the conservatory. By the end of the exhibit, the conservatory will have hosted 10,000 different butterflies.
The exhibit will run until April 3. For more information, click here.