Last week, team Beargrass Thunder got together to take a tour Idlewild Butterfly Farm! Idlewild is located in Shelby Park near Old Louisville and the Highlands. They are a working butterfly farm, insectarium, educational destination, and retail store focusing on sustainable and ecologically-friendly practices such as butterfly habitat cultivation, sustainable agricultural practices, and biological alternatives to chemical pest control.
Idlewild Butterfly Farm: Local Louisville video tour
Our new friend Rachel Barger was kind enough to take us on a full tour of the lab and butterfly farm. They certainly fulfilled their duty of lead insect keeper and lab manager by introducing us to all kinds of native caterpillars and exotic bugs, providing fun and interesting facts and stories along the way!
We learned about the importance of insects within our ecosystem and the necessities they provide us. They are more integral to most facets of life than we previously thought! Rachel reiterated the importance of "growing wild;" mowing less means more habitat for these creatures (also less carbon emissions as well as time and money spent on fuel and lawncare).
After the Insectarium Lab, we headed out to the garden and butterfly exhibit where we were greeted with an abundance of colorful native plants and flowers everywhere we looked! Centered in the garden was a netted enclosure with hundreds of butterflies flying about. It was truly a sight to behold; we couldn't believe we were right in the middle of Shelby Park!
We spoke about the importance of creating "oases" in urban areas and how the average Louisvillian can use their yard to help these butterflies and other pollinating insects.
Check out www.idlewildbutterflyfarm.com to learn more about the butterfly farm, when you can visit, and how you can help out! Take the tour for yourself, hold a crazy bug, and see the butterflies! You can follow them on facebook for updates and photos as well.
New Vocab List :
frass: insect poop
proboscis: feeding tube that butterflies and other pollinators use to drink nectar
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