|Butterflies and Wildflowers Walk With Butterfly Release Planned For Sept. 16 at Ernie Miller Park|
Adults and children ages 10 to 15 accompanied by a parent or guardian are invited to hike Ernie Miller Park in mid-September with a park naturalist to see nature's display of wildflowers and butterflies.
This three-hour program is called the Butterflies and Wildflowers Walk and will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 beginning at 1 p.m. Ernie Miller Park is located at 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Participants will have a chance to catch a butterfly in a net for up-close observation. After the hike, participants will receive a live butterfly to release in honor of someone they love. Participants should bring a pair of binoculars if they have them, sturdy walking shoes, and wear long pants. Search for the keyword "butterflies" to find this program in the JCPRD’s Activities Catalog and online listings.
The cost for one three-hour session is $18 for Johnson County residents or $20 for nonresidents. Preregistration is required.
Drawn by late-blooming flowers in a prairie remnant which was restored in the park about four years ago, hundreds of butterflies have made stops from their southern migration at Ernie Miller Park during early September for the past several years. About 80 percent of these visitors have been monarchs, but there have been other species as well, including painted ladies and sulfur butterflies. The butterflies are being drawn by the tall purple blooms of the gayfeather plant, as well as by other prairie plants including goldenrod and sunflowers. Many of these plants have come up naturally following prairie restoration projects completed in late 2002 in conjunction with Kansas City Wildlands. Those projects removed a number of large eastern red cedar trees which previously choked out the sun-loving prairie plants.
The Johnson County Park and Recreation District's ACTIVITIES catalog, with information and a registration form, is available for pick-up at all Johnson County Library branches. For more about the Butterflies and Wildflowers Walk, call Park Naturalist Andrea Johnson at (913) 764-8580 ext. 27. To register, call (913) 831-3359 VOICE or (913) 831-3342 TDD. To register online and for updated program listings, see the District’s website at www.jcprd.com