WEST JORDAN — A butterfly release will be included in the annual Party in the Park event Saturday and the public is invited to attend.
Manager of the butterfly release, Robert Stroud, said he has done several butterfly releases around the state over the years, with four scheduled in 2014. He said after growing up in a rural, farming community, he gained an interest in bugs and since then has started doing butterfly releases as a hobby.
“I started doing some releases up at the U. and it just turned into one thing after another, more people wanted to see these releases,” Stroud said. “It just kind of spread out from that. It went small and got bigger and bigger.”
Stroud said he works with butterfly breeders and farms in the Western U.S. and gets permits to ship the chrysalises to Utah. Saturday’s release will have 250 butterflies consisting of Mourning Cloak and Monarch butterfly species.
The butterflies have been stored at the Conservation Garden Park since Aug. 6 and have been on display for the public to watch the hatching process. Stroud said around 2,800 people attended the Conservation Garden Park butterfly release in 2013, and he hopes people will come join the experience.
“We let (the butterflies) go and they are on their own now,” he said. “Some of them take right off and some of them hang out in the audience and feed on the plants we put out. We encourage people with cameras. It’s all about interacting.”
The releases will be held at the Conservation Garden Park at 8275 S. 1300 West at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and Stroud said people should arrive two hours early to ensure they have a seat. Stroud said the releases will be postponed in the event of inclement weather.
The Party in the Park also offers a silent art auction, live bands, kids crafts and food vendors. The proceeds go towards the Conservation Garden Park public outreach and free conservation education classes.