The butterfly release program is led by Chris Johnston, a Youth and Family Worker in the Britannia Pacific Storm social development program for students in grades eight and nine, who has been teaching his students all about raising butterflies. “I thought it would be a great learning tool for my students. The entire metamorphosis process takes about 30 days and is an amazing process to watch in the classroom. Students are empowered by the experience and get a feeling of respect and accomplishment when giving back to the environment in this way”, says Johnston.
Flutterbuys, a butterfly company located in Langley BC, provides Painted Lady butterfly larvae to the school, which the students place in an aquarium and learn to take care of from larvae to pupa to butterfly. When the butterflies are strong enough, the students bring the aquarium down to the school garden, where they release the butterflies into the garden.
Students are witnesses to a wondrous spring ritual, enthralled as the young butterflies take their first flight bringing beauty to the school garden. As Chris says, “my hopes for the students are that this experience will spill over to develop an understanding of their personal environment and how fragile this ecosystem is.