“A caterpillar who seeks to not know himself would never become a butterfly.” For the past 40 years, Tree Hill Nature Center has served as a popular destination for environmentalists and energy conservationists as well as nature lovers. What started back in 1970 as a rugged piece of Florida wilderness with a small stable and horse trails has become transformed like a butterfly into 50-acres of beautiful nature trails that offers a Florida National History Museum, butterfly house and hummingbird gardens, native animals, the open-air Joseph A Strasser Amphitheatre, and an education center dedicated to students of all ages. Tree Hill Nature Center has been enjoyed by generations of families and individuals in the Jacksonville region. Grab the family, your neighbors and friends to get up close and personal with thousands of butterflies on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at Tree Hill Nature Center from 10 am to 5 pm $4 for adults, $3 for seniors/military and $2 for children. This beautiful nature preserve is located at 7152 Lone Star Road in Arlington. For more info: www.treehill.org (904) 724-464 or (904) 724-464.
The Joseph A. Strasser 9th Annual Butterfly Festival is the Jacksonville community’s favorite way to get a close look at thousands of colorful butterflies. This annual festival will feature a live butterfly exhibit, fun games and activities for children and families, live entertainment, food and much more. Guests are encouraged to roam Tree Hill’s nature trails, learn more about butterfly gardening and the environment from local experts, and shop at the Monarch Mall, where vendors showcase everything from native plants to yard art and jewelry.
The festival will culminate with an explosion of nature’s fireworks – a live native butterfly release. The highlight of the day is when thousands of butterflies are released to cover the sky. This colorful, magical sight is guaranteed to delight all who attend. This is also a wonderful photo opportunity for community photographers.
Immediately following the Butterfly Festival the folks with Natural Awakenings will be hosting a drumming event at the Strasser Amphitheatre. From 5 to 6:30 there will be drumming workshops about techniques and rhythms under the expert guidance of Ken Anoff and other area percussion instructors. Then from 6:30 until 8:00, or until the cicadas drown out the drumbeats, the group will gather to celebrate rhythms from around the world using African drums, called Djembes and Middle Eastern drums called Doumeeks. Everyone is invited to attend to enjoy a unique experience and also to participate. There will be additional drums available but enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their own. For additional info go to www.timetodrum.com or email Ken at [email protected].
This year’s Butterfly Festival also commemorates Tree Hill’s 40th anniversary as northeast Florida’s leading nature center. This premier butterfly festival draws thousands of community members annually. It is a much-anticipated unique family-oriented outdoor celebration. The festival focuses upon edu-tainment – education that is entertaining and enlightening to children and adults. Sponsored by Coastal Companion, Entertaining U Magazine, Environmental Services, Inc., JAXPORT, Junior League of Jacksonville and Natural Awakenings.