Butterfly Circle Project

Coming to a park or schoolyard near you.

What is a Butterfly Circle?

It is a new concept in sustainable butterfly gardening for South Florida that creates biodiverse pollinator sanctuaries wherever herbicides are not used. Butterfly Circles:

  • Contain mostly native wild plants that host butterflies that are commonly viewed as “weeds” and are present in most gardens, swales, parks, and schoolyards throughout the region.
  • Attract numerous insect pollinators in addition to the butterflies, including native bees drawn to their nectar.
  • Require watering only during extreme drought and very little maintenance: once the circle is formed around the wild plants, the only work required is to mow as usual around the circle, occasionally cut the wild plants back a few inches to stimulate new growth and remove any invasive plants that start to take over.
  • Provide scope for education for all ages.

Why a circle?

Circles are universal symbols with extensive meaning. Last but not least they are very easy to mow around!


We dedicated our first Butterfly Circle on Earth Day, and to celebrate the 90th anniversary of our village's founding. Our mayor, village manager, and one of the council members showed up and happily showed off their butterfly wings. Ella jumped at the chance to soar!
The world kids want to see.
We asked the children present to draw the world they wanted to see. Here some of the results ...
Speaking of kids, our Butterfly Circle had help in surviving South Florida’s long, hot, dry season from the children attending the after school program in the nearby Recreation Center. They loved learning about the native flora and fauna in the Circle, and watching it grow and change. They watered it every day with their little dinosaur-shaped watering cans, and gave it extra water on Fridays as they wouldn't be there to nurture it over the weekend.
Earth Week Celebration
To celebrate Earth Week, 79 children walked over from a local school in three groups to learn about the plants in the Butterfly Circle and to see the insects that were attracted to them. Afterwards, we took them on a scavenger hunt in Constitution Park to seek out more wild native host plants, and then we all drank some lemonade with an ice cube made from Butterfly Pea tea. It was so cool to watch the blue ice cube turn the yellow lemonade pink as it melted.


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Bring butterflies to your garden with these 9 Florida Native host plants.

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