Pearlridge’s “BUTTERFLIES!” display is now open and it’s an experience that will make your heart flutter: the chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of rare butterflies as they flit freely, feeding and playing. This spring Pearlridge Center’s popular butterfly exhibit, “BUTTERFLIES!” returns with its enchanting Butterfly Conservatory and new educational classes by local experts.
For the first time, guests experiencing “BUTTERFLIES!” can also participate in classes by local experts Darlene Loo-McDowell, Dancetta Feary and William Haines. Shoppers will also learn how to propagate their own butterfly gardens and have the opportunity to purchase the plants needed. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.
“BUTTERFLIES” is open to the public Saturday, March 7 through Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3 per person. One keiki under the age of eight is free with each paying adult.
“Since it first started three years ago our butterfly exhibit has really taken flight and is an activity families and even adults look forward to visiting,” said Kelly Kauinana, marketing director for Pearlridge Center.
“This year we’re taking the experience one step further by providing our shoppers with the tools and tips to grow their own butterfly garden at home. As scientists continue to see the Monarch’s decline, ‘BUTTERFLIES!’ is a great opportunity to educate the next generation on this majestic creature. It is our hope that these classes will build a foundation that can help the Monarch Butterfly population flourish.”
Exhibits and workshops included in this year’s “BUTTERFLIES!” exhibit are:
Pearlridge Center’s Downtown Center Court will come to life with the addition of the 18’ by 18’ Butterfly Conservatory, home to hundreds of live butterflies. Here, keiki will witness the butterfly’s life cycle firsthand as it transitions from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.
According to the Butterfly Society of Hawaii, there are 17 species of butterflies in Hawaii. The exhibit features five found locally, including the Monarch Butterfly – which is growing increasingly rare — the white monarch, citrus swallowtail, painted lady, and Kamehameha Butterfly. All butterflies in the exhibit are raised by farmers on Oahu and Maui.
Gardening for Butterflies: Sundays, March 8 & March 22 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Grow your love for butterflies at a special session with seasoned butterfly gardener Darlene Loo-McDowell. Loo- McDowell will share information on the proper plants to help feed caterpillars and butterflies, as well as information on their care. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.
Loo-McDowell has worked with Pearlridge Center’s Conservatory for the past three years and many of the butterflies in the Conservatory come from her garden.
Butterflies, Bobo Birds, and a Special Butterfly Observatory Tour: Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Join Dancetta Feary to learn all about local Monarch Butterflies, their predators, and what we can do to help grow the population. This presentation is complete with a special tour in the Butterfly Conservatory where Feary will share how to feed butterflies as well as some fun butterfly facts.
Feary, has long been one of the islands’ foremost protectors of the Monarch Butterfly and has been involved in breeding the White Monarch, one of the world’s rarest butterflies. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.
Experience the Kamehameha Butterfly Up-Close: Saturdays, March 14 & March 21, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Join William Haines from the University of Hawaii and see our state butterfly, the Kamehameha Butterfly up close. Through the Pulelehua Project, Haines has been working to locate and research the Kamehameha Butterfly, in a quest to help one of the islands’ only indigenous butterflies.
Haines has contributed to developing maps and information on where to plant the Mamaki plant, the host plant for the Kamehameha butterfly to help increase the population of this regal species. His exciting presentation includes a discussion of the best hiking locations and elevations to find the Kamehameha Butterfly. Class sizes are limited and RSVPs are recommended. To RSVP call (808) 554-3307. All classes are free with $3 purchase of butterfly house tour.
Butterfly Field Trips:
Students will encounter butterflies in the Conservatory and explore and observe the stages of its life cycle through a collaborative activity. This field trip meets NSTA National Science Education Standards (c.2.1) Life Science / Life Cycle. Educators may request an in-class assessment activity at the completion of the field trip.
Field trips are available March 9 – April 2, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., with the exception of March 26, Prince Kuhio Day. The cost is $4 per student, which includes admission to the Butterfly Conservatory and one-hour curriculum. Butterfly classroom kits and lunch options are an additional charge. For questions or to schedule your visit please call (808) 554-3307 or visit www.adoptabutterfly.com.