Burgess Falls State Park and Natural Area in Sparta will host the eighth annual Butterfly Garden Celebration from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. A variety of educational programs will be offered in the award-winning Native Butterfly Garden and surrounding park for this event.
“We are very excited about the educational programming for this year’s celebration, which will include a variety of special activities for all ages and a roster of experts from naturalists to the Putnam County Master Gardeners,” said Bill Summers, park manager. “The celebration is also an opportunity to enjoy the butterfly garden at the peak of its beauty and to learn why it is such an important asset to Burgess Falls.”
Scheduled programs will include:
9 a.m. – Walk in the Woods
State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath and members of the Burgess Falls Ranger staff will take participants on an easy hike through the forest, talking about trees and telling their stories. The forest is likely to provide a few surprises from the multitude of plants and animals that make their home there. Participants will meet at the River Trail/Service Road Loop trailhead.
10 a.m. – Birds of Prey
Join the Burgess Falls Ranger staff at the park’s amphitheater to learn about Tennessee’s native hawks and owls.
10:30 a.m. – Mammals
Join the Burgess Falls Ranger staff at the amphitheater to learn about our native mammals.
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Landscaping with Native Plants
Meet at the amphitheater to learn how to landscape with native plants and attract butterflies and other wildlife to your own yard. The program will be held at 11 a.m., followed by a repeat presentation at 1 p.m.
Noon and 2 p.m. - Butterfly Identification Walk
Middle Tennessee Naturalist John Froeschauer will lead an informal butterfly identification “walk and talk,” beginning in the open garden and continuing into the nearby woodland habitat. His talk will focus on native butterfly food and nectar plants. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars. The program will be held at noon, with a repeat presentation at 2 p.m.
Noon – Creek Studies
Participants will learn to measure a stream’s health by observing the animals that live in it. Please meet at the picnic pavilion and wear wading shoes.
2 p.m. – Hike to the Big Falls Overlook
Participants will join the park’s Ranger staff for an hour-long hike from the picnic shelter to the main falls overlook. They should wear sturdy shoes and bring water. Meet at the amphitheater.
Burgess Falls is a 200-acre park, which lies on the rugged Eastern Highland Rim in Putnam and White counties. It is noted for its sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, waterfalls and diverse forests. The Burgess Falls Native Butterfly Garden was created by park staff, the Putnam County Master Gardeners, countless volunteers and the Iris Fund group.
Tennessee's 54 state parks and 82 natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups. State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses. For additional information about Tennessee State Parks, visit the Web site at www.tnstateparks.com or call 888 867-2757 for a free brochure. More information about Tennessee’s natural areas program can be found at www.tn.gov/environment/na/.
For more information about the Butterfly Garden Celebration at Burgess Falls State Park and Natural Area, please call 931 432-5312.