Thursday, April 22, 2010

Give a Little Bit

Today is officially Earth Day - the 40th anniversary, as a matter of fact. According to Wikipedia, "Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment", and thousands of events are taking place across the country as people spend a day focusing on the natural world and our human responsibilities to it.

I'll be spending Earth Day 2010 at my "garden away from home" - the MOSI BioWorks Butterfly Gardens. I spend several days a week volunteering in the gardens and working with the Butterfly Flight Encounter, and this Earth Day, I'll be helping out as over a dozen volunteers come to help with a massive planting in the gardens and tree grove.

If you've never been to the gardens at MOSI in Tampa, they're definitely worth a visit. The Historic Tree Grove contains trees from famous locations, such as the Fort Matanzas Red Cedar and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Sycamore, and many of the gardens beneath are themed to match the trees - for instance, plants with medicinal applications are planted beneath the Clara Barton Red Bud. You can learn much more about the Historic Tree Grove by clicking here.

In addition to the historic and themed gardens, all of the gardens are designed with butterflies in mind. Both nectar and host plants are in abundance, and it's a rare stroll through the gardens that doesn't result in the sighting of a variety of butterfly species. BioWorks rears and displays native butterflies all year long, and visitors can get an up close look in the Flight Encounter experience.

For me, the butterflies are the best part of the volunteer experience. Nearly everything I've learned about butterfly gardening is due to my time at the BioWorks Butterfly Gardens and the amazing woman who runs the show. Kristen has an unbelievable knowledge of native plants, local flora and fauna, and gardening in general, and she's happy to share it with guests and volunteers alike. If you can't make it to MOSI, you can still benefit from Kristen's knowledge by visiting her blog, Lepcurious: Tales From the Butterfly Garden.

If you do live in the Tampa area and have some time available, MOSI BioWorks is always looking for new volunteers. If you don't get enough of getting your hands dirty in your own gardens, Kristen is always looking for garden assistants. Click here to learn more or to contact Kristen to offer your time.

So, that's where I'll be this Earth Day. What about you?


  1. Wow. I had no idea all those different gardens were there at MOSI. I'll have to put that on my list of places to see.

  2. Thanks Jill! You are pretty awesome yourself!