The Farnsworth Middle School’s 23rd annual Butterfly Release Ceremony was held on Friday August 12. Student volunteers released all of the butterflies that had been raised or caught throughout the summer in the Butterfly Station, located in the center of the FMS courtyard.
The Butterfly Station is a student-run, community service program designed to educate about the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the importance of butterflies to our local habitat.
Senior Maura Van Woert has spent her past seven summers volunteering at the garden and read the book “Gotta Go! Gotta Go!” to the students and families who attended the release ceremony this past Friday. Maura is one of many students who volunteer at the Butterfly Station even after their FMS years.
This year the Butterfly Station had approximately 60 volunteers and over 1,000 visitors. Between July 13 and August 12, over $1,100 was raised in efforts to support the Butterfly Station in the upcoming years.
In July the International Union for Conservation of Nature officially designated the Monarch Butterfly as an endangered species, demonstrating the need for programs like the FMS Butterfly Station. The Monarch Butterfly is one of the many butterfly species raised throughout the month in the FMS garden.
This was the first summer when tours were held in the evening as well as throughout the day. There are plans for more evening tours next year, as they were very popular. Next year FMS plans to have even more evening tours available to the public.