CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Everyday, Tuesday thru Sunday, at 2:00 p.m., visitors at the Cleveland Botanical Garden gather around Mark Bir, an affable man, who gently reaches into a butterfly net and places a newly hatched butterfly on the hands of people who have collected to watch the release.
Bir, who wears a cowboy hat and handlebar mustache, has nothing but kind things to say about the butterflies. “They’re wonderful creatures," Bir said. “And to witness them in person could be a life changing event for you.”
For one visitor who stopped to watch she couldn’t agree more. With two butterflies on her hand she smiles broadly and embraces her up close adventure with the colorfully winged creatures. “It’s amazing,” she said. “I absolutely love it.”
Botanical Garden employee Cait Anastis calls the butterflies “ambassadors.”
“We want people to connect with the plants,” Anastis said. “The butterflies are beautiful and people want to know more.”
The ten-acre facility contains two biomes dedicated to creating a Madagascar and Costa Rico experience. The butterflies are released in the biome simulating Costa Rico. Anastis reminds those around her that the plants you see around you are habitat and food for the butterflies, and if you value the butterfly you have to preserve the forest.
The Cleveland Botanical Gardens are located at 11030 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106.