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The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, Colo., hosted its annual Butterfly Launch on Thursday, May 25, bringing out about 500 giddy, local third-graders from Eagle County Schools, St. Claire’s of Assisi and Vail Mountain School who have been raising their caterpillars throughout the month of May.
Every third-grade class in the Eagle River Valley receives a butterfly kit, courtesy of the Pepi and Sheika Gramshammer Foundation, that features caterpillars, a viewing net and food. Sheika is pictured above at left.
Welcoming 500 hard-working kids to the annual launch event of their Painted Lady butterflies is a fun and celebratory way to kick off not only the gardens opening for summer-long tours and educational experiences but also June as Pollinator Month.
Painted Lady butterflies are some of the most well-known pollinators thriving in our mountain resort gardens.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is an internationally-acclaimed, high-altitude botanic sanctuary known for its alpine horticulture, education and conservation. Located in Vail, Colo. at 8,200 feet, it is the highest elevation botanical garden in North America.
For more on the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens go to the nonprofit organization’s website. Photos by Nanette Kuich, education director, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.