Watershed Institute returns annual Butterfly Festival

Photo courtesy of Watershed Institute
2021 Watershed Institute Butterfly Festival on the grounds of the Watershed in Hopewell Township on Aug. 7.

About 1,000 people attended The Watershed Institute’s 21st annual Butterfly Festival, which took place in three separate sessions this year to keep everyone safe.

The festival took place on Aug. 7 at the Watershed Institute in Hopewell Township.

The Watershed’s Butterfly Festival is an in-person celebration to share the
wonders of nature. The event featured tours of the Kate Gorrie Butterfly House, the Insect Zoo and hay wagon rides on part of the 950-acre Watershed Reserve.

“We’re so pleased to welcome people back to our campus and spread joy during these
difficult times,” Jim Waltman, executive director of The Watershed Institute, said in a prepared statement. “We appreciate everyone coming and supporting our mission.”

According to the Watershed Institute, the day offered live entertainment by the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge; the Trenton Circus Squad; and Eyes of the Wild, an exotic animal rescue show. Young children were part of the famous Butterfly and Bug Parade led by Lady Monarch, Ms. Allison. A deejay rounded out the day’s festivities.

Adults and older children learned about watersheds; tiny critters who populate
streams; the impact of human activities on the environment; and the need to protect
rivers, lakes and streams.

There were many games and educational hands-on exhibits, such as carefully touching minnows with wet hands, exploring the underwater world with microscopes, labyrinths and more.

Proceeds from this event help sustain The Watershed Institute’s work in environmental
conservation, advocacy, science and education, according to the statement.

The Watershed is a member-supported non-profit dedicated to protecting and restoring clean water and healthy environments in central New Jersey.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, space at the Butterfly Festival was limited to about 300
people per session so all the activities could be held in a safe manner, according to the statement.