The zebra longwing is the state butterfly of Florida. [Photo by Suzanne Williams]
Green Cay Nature Center is hosting its “Butterfly Talk & Walk” program Sept. 23. Participants start the day with a guided tour through the butterfly garden with a naturalist.
What: Butterfly Talk & Walk
When: Sept. 23 at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Green Cay Nature Center
Address: 12800 Hagen Ranch Road, west of Boynton Beach
Who: Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department
South Florida is a haven for butterflies because of its warm climate and diverse habitats, including gardens, parks, nature reserves and coastal areas. Favorable weather all year allows a wide variety of butterfly species to thrive.
The most common butterflies include:
• The monarch, known for its distinctive orange-and-black wing pattern. The migratory monarch passes through South Florida during its annual migration.
• The Gulf fritillary is striking orange with silver spots. Its caterpillars feed on passionflower vines.
• The zebra longwing has black wings with distinctive long white stripes. It is Florida’s official state butterfly.
The site that became Green Cay Nature Center was used for agriculture, and much of it had been drained and altered. The county embarked on a wetland restoration project to return the land to its natural state.
The Green Cay Nature Center opened to the public in 2004. It is designed to provide environmental education, promote conservation and offer recreational opportunities.
One of the center’s main features is the raised boardwalk that allows visitors to explore the restored wetlands without disturbing the ecosystem.