This is a microphoto of two invasive waterfleas: Spiny Water flea or Bythotrephes longimanus (the larger of the two and the most concerning) and Fishhook Waterflea or Cercopagis pengoi. Photo courtesy of J. Liebig NOAA GLERL from

Time to buy your butterflies

Bereavement fundraiser includes early bird prizes this year

Published: March 22 2016

By Jenn Watt

On one special day in June painted lady butterflies will fill the air by the Minden Hills Cultural Centre at the second Release of the Butterflies event.

Participants “buy” the orange butterflies for $30 apiece and set them free into the marshland as a fundraiser for the county’s bereavement program run by SIRCH Community Services.

“The bereavement program at SIRCH has no base funding” says Marilyn Rydberg chairwoman of the butterfly release committee. “This is the fundraiser to keep this program going.”

Last year’s event raised about $15000 for the program which needs about $20000 a year to provide bereavement groups to those in the county who are coping with the loss of a loved one.

In addition to donating to release a butterfly this year the committee will be awarding three early bird prizes.

Bank of Montreal is giving a trip for four to the butterfly conservatory in Sudbury including a hotel stay in that city. Lynn Roberge at Mixed Media Arts has donated a concrete garden butterfly and Canadian Tire has donated a gift from its garden centre.

For each butterfly purchased a ticket goes in the draw for the prizes.

Butterflies must be purchased by May 15. The early bird draw is May 18.

The painted lady butterflies are farmed at Butterflies and Roses in Lakefield and are a native species to our region. In fact Rydberg says it’s common to see painted ladies in June in the Highlands.

Last year more than 200 people attended the event.

“We were kind of overwhelmed at how successful it was” Rydberg says. There will also be activities for children butterfly crafts and face painting.

The Release of the Butterflies takes place June 12 at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre. Butterflies are released at 1:30 p.m. It is $30 to buy one butterfly $100 for four. Lunch is available at the event for purchase.

To order a butterfly call SIRCH at 705-457-1742 or donate online at You can also drop in at the office at 4663 County Road 21 near Haliburton.