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Gardening & More: Get up close and personal with monarchs

You can walk among butterflies during Monarch Madness at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. Photo by Kristy Swanson, courtesy of Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.
You’ll be able to get an up-close look at monarchs and other native butterflies during Monarch Madness, to be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, June 8 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, located at 2655 S. Park Ave. in Buffalo.

A screened-in enclosure will be set up inside the Botanical Gardens where you will be able to actually walk among the butterflies.

The exhibit will also include the native plants that the butterflies depend on and you will be able to get information on what you can plant in your own yard to attract butterflies. Folks from the Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm in Clarence will be on hand to talk about the butterflies, as well.

There will also be activities for children to learn about butterflies and other pollinators.

Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors ages 55 and older and students 13 and older with identification, $5 for children ages 3-12 and free for members and children 2 and younger. The Botanical Gardens is a Blue Star Museum, so from Memorial Day to Labor Day, active military and up to five family members are admitted for free.

Monarch Madness on June 8 is the only time you will be able to walk among the butterflies, but the live butterflies will remain on display this summer. You’ll also be able to see a display of chrysalises in various stages, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see a butterfly emerge.

While at the Botanical Gardens, make sure you check out a couple other special exhibits – there will be no extra charge.

In the Arcangel Gallery, William Smyers will present “Dark Star,” an exhibit of his photos that he describes as “peaceful and reflective images of my view of the world around us and the beauty it holds.”

Children and adults alike will enjoy the garden railway exhibit created by the Western New York Garden Railway Society. It will include a traditional layout, as well as one with the children’s character, Thomas the Tank Engine.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget that the talks for gardeners continue all weekend long at the Western New York Dairy/Agricultural Festival in Concord Town Hall, located at 86 Franklin St. in Springville. Events will be held, rain or shine; check the festival website for details.

Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email


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