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Butterfly release marks 20 years in Gainesville
Painted ladies will fly around Wilshire Trails Park
John Schrader shows off the butterfly on his finger at last year’s annual Friends of the Parks Butterfly Release.

Friends of Gainesville Parks annual Butterfly Release

When: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 15

Where: Wilshire Trails Park, 849 Wilshire Road NW, Gainesville

Cost: Free

More info:

Approximately 1,500 painted lady butterflies will be released Sunday, May 15, at the Friends of Gainesville Parks & Greenways 20th annual butterfly release.

The family-friendly event will run from 1-4 p.m. at Wilshire Trails Park, 849 Wilshire Road NW, in Gainesville. Face painting, paper sailboat races and concessions will last for the length of the event. The butterflies will be released at 3 p.m.

“Releasing the butterflies is sort of magical ... the butterflies are. They are living creatures that go out and become part of the ecosystem,” said Kim Caston Davis, public relations committee chair for Friends of the Park. “It’s so magical to watch all those butterflies take off at one time.”

Children will be given a small package containing a live butterfly. After a countdown, they open the package and release the butterflies at once.

Davis said flowers that attract butterflies are planted nearby and the butterflies usually head toward them.

In addition to the release, 131 coloring contest entries from third-graders at Centennial Elementary were submitted. They will be displayed at the butterfly release.

A committee selected the top five entries, naming Tanya Huynh as the winner. Her design will be on the event T-shirts, which will be available for purchase. The four students rounding out the top five are Luis Villa, Nathaly Elais, Brian Ngo and Krystal Mendoza.

A free Shuttle Service is available from Gainesville High School, Woods Mill and Centennial.

Davis said Friends of the Park raises awareness to green space and the part that green spaces play in the cycle of life — specifically taking care of our earth in Gainesville.

“The purpose of Friends of the Park is to raise awareness of the availability of the parks in our area, green spaces and trails,” Davis said. “We do things throughout the year to draw awareness to the parks and trails.”

Funds raised during the event go toward maintaining area parks and trails.

“Volunteers help with the work, but any other financial work that needs to be spent to maintain parks and trails and green spaces, we help with that,” Davis said.

To make a donation, make checks payable to Friends of Gainesville Parks & Greenways, Inc. and send them to 830 Green St., Gainesville, GA 30501.

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