Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival returns for its 25th anniversary

Up to 5,000 visitors will converge on the Cuyamaca College campus when the annual Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival returns for its 25th year on Saturday, April 28, as the college, The Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum present an array of family-friendly events featuring plant sales, craft vendors, wine tasting and more.

The Cuyamaca College nursery at the 2017 Spring Garden
and Butterfly Festival
The Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum are housed at Cuyamaca College, and all three have scheduled a bevy of activities. Cuyamaca College’s award-winning Ornamental Horticulture Department is hosting its biggest plant sale of the year, with proceeds supplementing the program’s operations. The Water Conservation Garden will be the site of butterfly releases, landscape consultations, a children’s story time with Ms. Metamorphosis, and a pollinator party with Ms. Smarty-Plants. The Heritage of the Americas Museum is presenting a Kumeyaay fire-making and artifacts demonstration, along with docent-led tours.  

“The Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival is a great way for the college, the Water Conservation Garden, and the Heritage of the Americas Museum to highlight the innovative programs we offer to the community,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes. “It’s also an awesome way to spend a Saturday.”
More than 80 vendors, craftspeople and artisans will be on hand at Cuyamaca College’s Grand Lawn and in the Garden. The Grand Lawn will also house information booths and presentations from nearly two dozen Cuyamaca College academic and student programs. The Child Development Department, for example, is organizing activities for small children. Graphic design professors will discuss pathways to rewarding careers. And computer information systems instructors will detail how Cuyamaca College is putting people to work in high-demand fields such as cyber security.

The popular event, one of the largest in San Diego’s East County, has its roots in the Spring Garden Festival launched 25 years ago by the Ornamental Horticulture program at Cuyamaca College. In 2017, it combined forces with the annual Butterfly Festival, which took flight after the Water Conservation Garden opened its Butterfly Pavilion in 2014.


Among the many highlights:

At Cuyamaca College:

o   Edible and ornamental plant sales at the Ornamental Horticulture Department throughout the day.

o   Vendors and animal encounters.

o   Food trucks and wine tasting.

o   Exhibits and presentations from career education programs.


At the Water Conservation Garden:

o   Butterfly Pavilion tours and butterfly releases.

o   Story time with Ms. Metamorphosis at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

o   Docent-led tours of the Garden at 10 a.m. and noon.

o   Landscape design consultations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservation and prepayment required; walk-ups accommodated if possible. Call (619) 660-0164, ext. 10, to register.

o   A Pollinator Party with Ms. Smarty Plants at 11 a.m.


At the Heritage of the Americas Museum:

o   A fine art show and sale throughout the day.

o   Artist and retired teacher Diana Kam will lead a demonstration on Chinese brush painting.

o   A docent-led tour of the museum at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

o   A presentation titled, The Vitamin N (Nature) Factor in Our Lives & Our National Parks Future at 11 a.m.

o   A “Moving to Mars” presentation at 1 p.m.

o   A Kumeyaay Artifacts & Fire-Making demonstration at 2 p.m.

o   A “Five-Choices Dream Raffle” for prizes ranging from framed art to archaeology artifacts. Proceeds will benefit the museum’s educational programs that serve more than 5,000 schoolchildren visiting the center annually.


The Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parking and admission are free.