Vail butterfly fest takes flight |

Vail butterfly fest takes flight

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Valley third graders have been raising butterflies to launch at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens on Wednesday in Vail, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Thousands of painted lady butterflies will take their first flutter Wednesday at America’s highest botanical garden in Vail, Colorado.

More than 400 Eagle County third-graders are expected to participate in the annual Butterfly Launch at noon on Wednesday, at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, in Vail’s Ford Park.

“I can say with great enthusiasm and anticipation the annual butterfly launch is a real treat,” says Ann Kurronen, executive director of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. “It is a wonderful program that educates children on life cycles and the responsibilities of raising their own butterflies which then culminates in the launch at the Gardens. It’s just beautiful.”

The students, from both public and private schools throughout Eagle County, were supplied this spring with kits including a viewing net, caterpillars and food. Over the course of about a month, they’ve raised the caterpillars, watching as each pupated and turned into a painted lady butterfly ready to take flight.

The students first gather at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens at 11:30 for lunch before releasing the butterflies together at about noon. It’s all set to music by renowned local musician Helmut Fricker performing his popular Austrian alpenhorn and squeezebox act. Snacks will be provided by Marketplace on Meadow Drive.

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