IBBA's Corporate Partners

National Association of Activity Professionals
4-H of America.

National Association of Activity Professionals


IBBA member Carol McPheron is inserting special IBBA brochures into the NAAP convention handouts in April and is giving a presentation on using butterflies in senior centers, re: displays, releases, raising kits. Here are Carol's suggestions on how you too can get involved in this worthwhile activity.

Butterflies On Display
Artwork in Flight

In my never-ending search for activities that bring joy to my Seniors I discovered the magical world of butterflies. Everyone loves watching butterflies, which have been referred to as "Works of Art in Flight", and it is very easy to display them in your facility. The daily care of butterflies is simply and only requires daily misting of water and keeping a butterfly feeder filled with Gatorade. That's it!

Butterflies can be purchased through butterfly farmers located throughout the U.S. and each state has an approved list of butterfly species that can be displayed because they are native to that State. To find a butterfly farmer in your area, look on the "Members and their Farms" page.

There are several options for displaying butterflies. Simple display boxes can be made out of PVC pipe covered with tulle fabric. Clear plastic boxes are also available and with the addition of a few small holes punched in the sides & top and a small bouquet of flowers in the bottom they can be quite attractive and inexpensive display cages. You can also make tulle-covered baskets with small bouquets of flowers in the bottom. Hint: Always use black tulle, not white, when making any display because it is easier to see through. Sounds funny but it's true because white reflects light. On a grander scale you can build a larger display case that can be made mobile by adding wheels to the bottom. Take four wood frame screen doors (approx. $20.00 each) and screw them together to make a phone booth size display. The top and bottom are made out of 2x4's covered with screen. Hang a basket of flowers from the top, clip on a light source, clip on a small fan for airflow and you've got a nice display unit for approx. $100.00 that can be enjoyed by many. Best of all it only takes about 10 minutes to put it all together with a few screws and a screw/drill driver.

Chrysalis (cocoon) can be purchased and displayed in a small basket or clear plastic box at bedside or in a central location. Your residents will enjoy watching as the chrysalis changes color as the day of emergence approaches. The day before emergence you can actually see the butterfly inside the chrysalis. Upon emergence a beautiful butterfly appears and after 24 hours their wings will harden and they are ready for release back into the wild or to be put into a larger display cage for all to enjoy.

Carol J McPheron

An IBBA Brochure for Seniors/Activity Directors is available for IBBA members to download, print and use to do business development with senior centers. The link is on the Member Download Links page in the Members' Section.

4-H of America

IBBA member Penny Wilson explains how IBBA members can work with 4-H projects.

This is how butterfly farmers can become involved with 4-H members in their community.

Farmers can contact the 4-H extension office in their community, through the extension office they will be able to contact different 4-H groups and speak with their Advisors. Farmers can attend a meeting and give a short demonstration on raising butterflies. Any child can raise butterflies through 4-H even though there is no project guide available yet specifically for raising pl's or any other bflies. We put Cassy's project under Class 7, "Self Determined Still" There is a project guide for self determined and written in there are guidlines for the 4-H members to follow. We had alot of fun with this project. Cassy has done two different 4-H projects about butterflies, the first one was "Butterfly Farming" then last year was "Butterfly Gardening". This year I believe she is raising Monarchs and doing research about Monarch Watch. The possiblities are endless. It is all up to how involved the Farmer want's to get with the 4-H members, and of course how much the member wants to put into it. Almost forgot, the judges love the butterflies and caterpillars, when Cassy's project was judged, we brought judges over from four other tables just because they were so interested. Judges notes on Cassy's project: Extremely Knowledgeable, Exciting Presentation, Great Poster, Very Enjoyable ! Grade Excellent !

Also there are some Leadership and Citizenship Activities, including planting butterfly gardens (which could include the whole 4-H club), members giving demonstrations to clubs, encourage other 4-H'ers to take a butterfly project, organize a field trip to a butterfly farm or house, apply something they learned about butterflies to benefit their community. These are a few things that will be in our project guide and they can be applied to the self-determined project also.

The project guide for Raising PL's we are working on will be alot of help to the 4-H Advisor that doesn't know about raising butterflies. When this guide is introduced to 4-H, it will be available to clubs and members all over the entire U.S., then it may be printed in foreign languages and distributed throughout the world. The IBBA will be in the guide so members and Advisors know where to order healthy stock. :o) This is really big and I am extremely excited, I'm thankful for Steve's mom, Annis for putting me in touch with the right people and for her 30 years plus of being part of 4-H.

The 4-H name and emblem are protected by Federal Statute. Click HERE to find out more and to download an application form to request "Authorization to use the 4-H Club Name and Emblem" (PDF file).

Penny Wilson

Read the Ashland Times-Gazette article below to find out how it all started for Penny and her daughter (posted previously in the Farmer Highlights section).

Ashland Times-Gazette (Reproduced with permission)

While summers equate a break from the school grind for most students, those involved with 4-H, or similar club projects, might make an exception to this rule. Although they may be out of the classroom, they still are putting the finishing touches on projects that will take them into the dog days of summer, learning all the while.

In a number of cases, a student's hard work and dedication can take them all the way to the Ohio State Fair--this year, more than 30 made it to Columbus. In addition to hard work, some unusual creativity has come into play with a few State Fair bound students.

Cassy HetrickCassy Hetrick, who is entering the seventh grade at Hillsdale Middle School, recently returned from her first experience at the State Fair. She too has one of the more unique projects entered at the State Fair -- she studied the mechanics of butterfly farming, something mom Penny Wilson has been doing for the past two years.

Her carefully constructed folder depicts pages of butterfly "host" and "nectar" plants, where they lay their eggs and feed and information on the delicate Monarchs she raised in her garden of colorful flowers.

Actually stepping into the garden and tent, where the chrysalises are kept, the hard work and uniqueness becomes evident, as Cassy and her mom explain the process of butterfly farming.

"I learned about different plants, the butterfly life cycle," Cassy said of her experience. She said that at one point, there were eight butterflies at one time flying around her flower garden.

She explained it takes about 10 days for the chrysalis to merge into a butterfly, and the butterfly then has an average life-span of about two to three weeks. The Monarchs take tedious attention; Cassy must spray the mesh tent three times a day so they don't become dehydrated.

Her work earned her a participation ribbon, and she will go on to show her project at the Ashland County Fair.

The photo and article are to be reprinted only with permission from the Ashland Times-Gazette. Any reproductions may not be done without express written consent from the Ashland Times-Gazette.

Photo by Amy Van Horn
Story by Liz Alessio

Photo copyright the Ashland Times-Gazette.

International Butterfly Breeders Association, Inc.

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