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Frederik Meijer Gardens to welcome butterflies next week

Frederik Meijer Gardens to welcome butterflies next week

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Butterflies will soon be blooming at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, despite the snow.

The first shipment of tropical butterflies for the park’s annual exhibit will arrive next week, on Thursday, Feb. 20.   Meijer Gardens will receive more than 800 tropical chrysalides per week during the exhibition, which runs March 1 through April 30.

The chrysalides will be placed in the Butterfly Bungalow.  When the butterflies emerge, they will be released into the five-story Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory to fly freely amongst guests.   Butterflies are Blooming draws nearly 150,000 guests each year.

'Snowshoes Stomp!' youth discovery program Feb. 1

'Snowshoes Stomp!' youth discovery program Feb. 1

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Learn about the different types of snowshoes and how animals survive with their own built-in snowshoes during a workshop at Ada  Township Park.

“Snowshoes Stomp!” will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  The program is open to children ages 7-11.  Admission is $5 per youth.  Participants will get a chance to walk through the park on snowshoes and play snowshoe games.  Snowshoes and a snack will be provided.  Parents are welcome to stay for the event.

Orchids invade Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Jan. 25-26

Orchids invade Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Jan. 25-26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—While most West Michigan gardens are covered with a thick layer of snow, flowers will be in bloom this weekend at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

Meijer Gardens is hosting the 16th annual Orchid Show Jan. 25-26.  Visitors can view hundreds of orchids in lush displays in the Grand Room.  Members of the Grand Valley Orchid Society will be on hand to answer questions and highlight the unique specimens at the show, which is free and open to the public.  

The orchid display will be open Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Vendors will also be available to purchase orchid supplies and plants on Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 Free orchid talks will also be held at the following times:

Saturday
1 p.m. Orchids for Beginners
2 p.m. How to Repot Orchids
3 p.m.

Kent County Conservation District sets plant sale dates

Kent County Conservation District sets plant sale dates

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Forget the snow and get your greenthumb ready: the Kent County Conservation District has set the date for its native plant sales.

The KCCD will hold its Native Michigan Spring 2014 Tree and Shrub Sale April 5.  The Conservation District’s Native Plant Gardening Workshop is scheduled for May 21, and its Native Plant Sale will take place May 31.

The Kent Conservation District is located at 3260 Eagle Park Dr. NE in Grand Rapids.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park adds award-winning piece to collection

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park adds award-winning piece to collection

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has picked the winner of the 2013 Ray and Nancy Loeschner Annual Art Competition.

New England landscape artist Dianne Shullenberger took the title with her entry, “Fall Brambles.”  The artwork is a landscape created through colored pencil on black paper.

Shullenberger is a Maine native who now works in Vermont.  Most of her drawings are inspired by nature and the outdoors.   In addition to the $3,000 prize, Shullenberger’s painting will become a part of Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection.

The next Ray and Nancy Leschner Annual Art Competition will begin this fall, but artists are encouraged to work on their entry anytime during the year.  Submissions are due Nov. 1, 2014.

Snowy owl sightings up in Michigan this winter

Snowy owl sightings up in Michigan this winter

DEWITT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Snowy owls are out in force in Michigan this winter, thanks to a population boom in their Arctic breeding lands.

The Lansing State Journal says area birdwatchers have been sighting the 2-foot-tall raptors.Snowy owl sightings have taken place at Capital Region International Airport in Clinton County's DeWitt Township, Ingham County's Alaiedon Township north of Mason and at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in suburban Grand Rapids. Capital Regional airport Operations Director Lisa Adams says people have spotted the owls with some regularity at the airport over the past two months, including nine times in December.

Snowy owls breed in the Arctic and typically move south in the winter. Experts say the owl's population boom may be because of an abundance of one of their favorite foods, lemmings.

Recycling your Christmas tree and wreaths through Jan. 13

Recycling your Christmas tree and wreaths through Jan. 13

ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- Ada Township is firing up its wood chipper as residents clear out the Christmas decorations.

Now through Jan. 13, the township is accepting Christmas trees and wreaths for recycling.  Township residents can drop off their trees and wreaths in the back parking lot of Ada Park between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.  Trees will be recycled into wood chips and wreath wire will be reclaimed.  All residents are asked to remove decorations, electrical wires, strings, ribbons and other items that could interfere with a chipper.

Ada Park is located at 1180 Buttrick Ave. in Ada.