GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History invites visitors to explore the wonders of the planet this Earth Day weekend with activities April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a butterfly-friendly plant sale April 18-20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The museum’s Earth Day exploration event features outdoor activities in the adjacent University of Florida Natural Area Teaching Laboratory and diverse specimens from the museum’s collections.
“This year’s theme is ‘Florida Biodiversity and Cultural Diversity,’ ” said Florida Museum public programs coordinator Catherine Carey. “Guests will have a rare opportunity to see treasures from the museum collections and learn about how specimens go from the field to collection.”
Outside the museum, visitors may see a tree climbing demonstration by the Avian Research and Conservation Institute, discover the riches of nature at Natural Area Teaching Laboratory stations as well as hear talks on butterfly gardening and edible landscaping each day by Florida Museum lepidopterist Jaret Daniels and Heather Blake from Natural Treasures Farm & Nursery. Visitors can view collections from Dickinson Hall inside the museum and learn more about their importance to science.
The plant sale is one of the museum’s largest of the year, featuring more than 170 species including wildlife-friendly and Florida native plants. The museum will open early on Sunday, April 20, for the last day of the sale, which will include edible and hard-to-find plants this year. Proceeds from plant sales benefit the museum’s “Butterfly Rainforest” exhibit and events like the Earth Day celebration and ButterflyFest.
“We have always prided ourselves in offering the best plants with the largest selection for attracting pollinators in the area,” said Jeffrey Hansen, Florida Museum coordinator of operations and visitor services. “We seem to be a one-stop shop for the serious gardener.”
Refreshments from High Springs Orchard and Bakery will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/earthday or call 352-846-2000.