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The Florida Museum of Natural History will celebrate its eighth annual ButterflyFest Oct. 19-20.
The free event celebrates the importance of backyard wildlife and its role in the ecosystem and includes the largest butterfly plant sale of the year beginning Friday, Oct. 18.
A change for this year’s event includes the museum’s first ButterflyFest Facebook Photo Challenge. Participants should submit their best picture incorporating the “Water and Wildlife” theme to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 30. The museum will post the top 10 photos on its Facebook page, and the public will select the overall winner online.
Florida Museum Lepidoptera researcher Jaret Daniels, who also leads the museum’s exhibits and public programs division, said the theme of this year’s event, “Water and Wildlife,” is an effort to help showcase the importance of this critical natural resource.
“ButterflyFest is a family event committed to growing awareness about the many intimate connections and interactions of organisms with their environment,” Daniels said.
Visitors will have the opportunity to view Lepidoptera specimens normally not displayed and speak with representatives from groups including the Florida Bluebird Society, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Lubee Bat Conservancy, and several museum and University of Florida divisions.
Additional family-friendly activities include live butterfly releases, a pollinator parade, live entertainment, movie screening with panel discussion and more.
For more information on ButterflyFest, registering for the “Picture Perfect Photography” workshop or entering the ButterflyFest Facebook Photo Challenge visit www.flmnh.ufl.edu/butterflyfest/ or call 352-273-2061.