The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society will present a Butterfly Festival on Saturday, July 30, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the UT Arboretum Auditorium and surrounding grounds in Oak Ridge.
It is co-sponsored by the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center. The gate will be open at 8:30 a.m. Coffee and donuts will be sold from 9 to 10.
The UT Arboretum is at 901 South Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge.
The event, designed for children and adults of all ages, will take place rain or shine, a press release said.
The day’s highlight will be the release of 50 butterflies at approximately 2 p.m., in honor of the 50th anniversaries of UTAS and the Arboretum, the press release said.
“We invite children to help release the monarch butterflies, which will be offered at a cost of $10 per butterfly,” the press release said.
This educational and fun activity features four speakers, two native plant vendors, a chainsaw art demonstration, Alan McBride playing the hammer dulcimer, and several food vendors.
The keynote speaker is award-winning writer, photographer, and butterfly expert Rita Venable, the press release said. Her book, “Butterflies of Tennessee,” is in its second printing. She will speak twice: at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Ann Brown will discuss pollinators. Local naturalist, photographer, and educator Kris Light will present a talk on “Butterfly Bonanza.” Chris Mahoney will discuss hummingbirds.
Neal Denton, state extension agent, will preview the festival on WBIR-TV several days before the event.
The press release said more details on this event will be available later.
Celebrating 51 years in 2016, this program is one of many lectures and activities that will continue to be offered this year by the UT Arboretum Society. The program is cosponsored by the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center.
The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, is one of 10 outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system. AgResearch is a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research, and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, and UT Extension offices, with locations in every county in the state.
To learn more about the Arboretum Society, go to www.utarboretumsociety.org. For more information on the program, call (865) 483-3571.
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