Event Name: Butterfly Institute: Introduction to Butterflies
Event Date(s): Thursday, 8/12/2021, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, 2 hours
Saturday, 8/7/2021, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 2 hours
Saturday, 8/14/2021, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 2 hours
Ages Allowed: 0 - 99
Tickets Available: 6
Purchase Deadline: Saturday, 8/7/2021 11:00 AM

Instructors: Assorted

This 3-week hybrid course led by members of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club (3 online lectures, 2 field experiences) will introduce you to the diversity, ecology, and life history of our beautiful New England butterflies, along with management tools to help them. This course is designed for the butterfly enthusiast who wants to dig deeper, and for those who would like to further their appreciation of the natural world around them. This program consists of five classes. When registering, please make sure all five classes are selected.

General Outline (For a full breakdown click this link)
Week 1:  Introduction to New England Butterflies: Diversity, Anatomy, Field Identification
Week 2:  Butterflies in the Wild: Ecology and Behavior
Week 3: Butterfly Conservation: Creating Habitat through Gardens  

Bill Benner is a life-long East Coast gardener who has been planting for wildlife and pollinators in western Massachusetts since 2004.  His gardens are particularly focused on butterflies and hummingbirds, with both nectar and host plants, and a strong emphasis on natives.  He is eager to share his enthusiasm for pollinator gardening with others, and he has lectured and taught on butterflies and gardening for the Native Plant Trust, the Hitchcock Center, and a number of garden centers, garden clubs, and conservation groups.  He is a past president of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club, and currently serves as the editor of its publication, Massachusetts Butterflies.

Martha Gach is current president of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club and Conservation Coordinator and Regional Education Manager with Mass Audubon, based at Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Center in Worcester. She also teaches at Worcester State University. An ecologist and evolutionary biologist, Martha designed the Broad Meadow Brook campus landscape to support butterflies and pollinators, but also birds and wildlife, and was featured on “Ask This Old House”  for a segment on butterfly gardens.. She coordinates the annual Butterfly Festival at Broad Meadow Brook and serves on her town’s Conservation Commission, advocating for native plantings.

Dave Small is president of the 250-member Athol Bird and Nature Club and Director of the Millers River Environmental Center. Dave shares his passion for Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies and most recently moths through workshops, lectures and field trips around New England.  Dave volunteers for several non-profits including Millers River Watershed Council, Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, Mass Watershed Coalition, and Mass Audubon's Important Bird Area Technical Advisory Committee, National Moth Week Science Advisory Board, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program Advisory Committee. Working for the Commonwealth of Mass for 35 years, Dave served as Assistant Regional Director at the DCR Quabbin Reservoir in Central Massachusetts retiring in 2013.

$150 Member Adult, $175 Adult (Registration includes admission to the Garden on field session days)

Additional Program Information

  1. Online sessions will be live only.
  2. You will receive a zoom link to the online sessions in the confirmation email. 
  3. Please note, there is currently construction happening at Tower Hill which may result in altered or obstructed walkways, parking lots, and parking spaces, in addition to some noise.

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