MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ -  -- The Butterfly House, located at the EARTH Center inside Davidson's Mill Pond Park will have its grand opening from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 4. It will then be open for the public's enjoyment from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday and Sunday in June, July and August (weather permitting).

 This “hoop house” is filled with plants that feed and shelter butterflies and larvae native to New Jersey. The enclosed conditions allow visitors to take a closer look at these beautiful insects and be immersed in their surroundings. You can learn about butterfly host plants and how to attract butterflies to your own yard or garden. Interested children are welcome to grab a net and join the chase for butterflies to place into the house.

 Visiting the butterfly house, which is maintained through the Master Gardener Program, is a free activity.

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 “The Master Gardeners have contributed their time and efforts to so many great programs for the County,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “The butterfly house is a favorite for obvious reasons -- it’s a fun and free outing that both parents and children will enjoy.”

 “Projects like the butterfly house allow all of Middlesex County, especially its children, to explore our connection to nature and appreciate its beauty,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee.

 The butterfly house and other gardens are located inside the County’s Davidson’s Mill Pond Park located at 42 Riva Ave. in South Brunswick.

Master Gardeners are trained by Rutgers Cooperative Extension experts to provide sound advice on horticulture and environmental stewardship to residents of their home county. The Middlesex County EARTH Center also hosts several demonstration gardens, including a huge vegetable display garden and a 13-bed hard-scaped herb garden.

 Residents of Middlesex County are encouraged to call or leave a message on the free Master Gardener Helpline, all year round, at 732-398-5220 with questions on plants, bugs and home conservation practices. The Master Gardeners’ training and access to reference material prepares them to identify insects and disease in gardens, and advise others on alternatives to herbicides and pesticides.

 Rutgers University trained Master Gardeners are available from 9 a.m. until 12 noon Mondays through Fridays during the growing season. You can also e-mail your questions and concerns to mastergardeners@co.middlesex.nj.us.