Free to flutter

One of the monarchs released by The Alpine Garden club at Baron’s Market for the 2019 Waterwise and Butterflies Festival came to rest on Gracie Mann’s outstretched hand.

Local children on May 4 peered over one another to watch the live release of hun­dreds of Monarch butterflies into the warm breeze at Baron’s Market. Hosted by Alpine Gar­den Club, the butterfly release was planned as part of the Wa­terwise and Butterflies festival.

Alpine Garden Club President Hilde Hinchcliff broke down the cost of the butterflies to $3.00 for “painted ladies” and $6.00 for monarchs and swallowtails, all ordered through Chase N’ But­terflies of Orange County.

The club dedicates $1,000 each year for the event, solely for community children to en­joy the moment of watching the delicate butterflies emerge and take flight.

One young viewer at the event was Aubrey Coppini, who spun around to make her dress flutter around as the butterflies took flight.

“This is my butterfly dress, I wore it for today to go with the butterfly colors,” Aubrey said.

Siblings Ben and Gracie Mann said that they have attended the event in the past and that it is always amazing.

Hinchcliff said that it would not be possible to pull off the event without the help of Bar­on’s market.

“Baron’s Market gives us a $500 donation— our little gar­den club could not afford the event without their help. We’re very grateful… there aren’t too many communities that still do this,” Hinchcliff said.

Baron’s Market Manager Mer­lyn Abrams said that the event speaks to the community of Alpine.

“It is always a pleasure to have the kids show up for such a learning experience— we always enjoy having it here and we love watching Mother Nature happen right in front of us. We really like being in the commu­nity,” Abrams said.

The butterfly release was held in conjunction with a fund­raiser for the club that included a plant sale, opportunity draw­ings, and a silent auction held at Christ the King Episcopal Church after the release.

Garden Club member Anne Koenig sat in the shade of the church garden and talked about what made this event different than in years’ past.

“This year, we focused on na­tive plants and plants that need a lot of sun rather than having as many succulents. We had a butterfly make the trip over from Baron’s with his plant and even had a visit from a hum­mingbird. It is going really well,” said Koenig.

Hinchcliff pointed out the large number of milkweed plants that the club was selling and explained why they needed to have so many on hand.

“Monarchs are very particu­lar, they hover over a plant be­fore they decide where they’re going to put their eggs. They test the plant, in a way,” Hinch­cliff said.

Free to flutter

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