Panhandle Butterfly House Celebrates Eighth Annual Monarch Madness

Published on September 08, 2014 with No Comments

The Panhandle Butterfly House will celebrate the amazing journey of the monarch butterfly. The Eighth Annual Monarch Madness Butterfly Festival will be held Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and offers fun for the entire family. The Panhandle Butterfly House is located at 8581 Navarre Parkway (Hwy 98) in Navarre Park just west of the Navarre Bridge.
The Panhandle Butterfly House is a certified Monarch Waystation with Monarch Watch (, an educational, conservation and research organization at the University of Kansas. On Friday and Saturday, the entire family can enjoy strolling through the vivarium, a screened structure housing hundreds of butterflies and the plants they love. Children can learn about the life and biology of the butterfly while earning their Junior Lepidopterist card entitling them to release a butterfly in the vivarium. Children ages 3 and up will be able to tag and release a monarch butterfly outdoors as part of the annual Monarch Watch.
“The tagging program is a part of a nationwide research program that helps answer questions about the geographic origins of monarchs that reach Mexico, the timing and pace of the migration, mortality during migration and changes in geographic distribution” said Mary Derrick, UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County Agent.
Other exciting things to do will include:

  • Children can make and take fun butterfly-related crafts.
  • The Monarch Market will offer many exciting butterfly-themed treasures for sale.
  • The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center and the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station will have dynamic displays.
  • Santa Rosa County Master Gardeners will provide advice on your lawn, landscape and gardens.
  • Holley-Navarre Elks Lodge #2787 will be raising money for local charities with the sale of hamburgers and hot dogs, along with snacks and soft drinks.
Admission is free but donations are encouraged and appreciated. Only through the generosity of our visitors are we able to provide the community with this wonderful outdoor science lab. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn while having loads of fun! Monarch Madness is brought to you by the Panhandle Butterfly House with help from the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council, as part of the 2014 11th Anniversary Beaches to Woodlands Tour.
For more information visit our website at or contact Mary Derrick at (850) 623-3868 between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays or via email at    
Also the Panhandle Butterfly House’s award winning “Kiderpillar School” program will be offering tours during “Monarch Madness” in celebration of the monarch butterfly’s long journey.  We will be open for scheduled tours Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1, and 2, and the week of Oct. 6-10.   Please schedule a tour through our website at or call the Santa Rosa County Extension Office at (850) 623-3868 for more information.
Last October we were able to schedule many school groups and we hope to do the same this year. Larger tours may have the benefit of three separate lessons covering the life cycle and habits of butterflies, the journey of the monarch simulated in the gardens, and the ecosystem of the estuary and a freshwater pond. A combined group of UF/Extension Master Gardeners and community volunteers teaches the program.  Tours will also be available after school hours to benefit youth programs.  We are proud to say that our curriculum meets the Sunshine State Standards for Florida.
The Panhandle Butterfly House is located at 8581 Navarre Parkway in Navarre Park, just west of the Navarre Bridge.

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