Spring has arrived at The Leach Teaching Gardens in The Gardens at Texas A&M University, and visitors of all ages are invited to “a bloomin’ time” at the Hullabloom Fest on April 20. The family-friendly fun includes spring-inspired crafts, educational exhibits and activities and a butterfly release.

A crowd of people at Hullabloom Fest, April 2023.
The Hullabloom Fest celebrates spring with educational activities, crafts and fun for all ages. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

The free event will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Leach Teaching Gardens, 556 John Kimbrough Blvd., College Station.

Pollinator-themed activities

A butterfly release at 11 a.m. is part of several pollinator-themed activities. Visitors can register at a sign-up table throughout the event to participate in the release.

Young girl with butterflies resting on her fingertips at Hullabloom Fest, April 23, 2023.
A butterfly release will include species native to Texas. (Michael Miller/Texas A&M AgriLife)

“Our first butterfly release at last year’s Hullabloom Fest was so popular that we have increased the number of butterflies for this year,” said Kat Grier, coordinator of education programming and outreach for The Gardens. “The release includes several butterfly species native to Texas that will be quite at home among the plants in The Gardens that attract and host pollinators such as butterflies, bees and migrating birds.”

Visitors will discover other fun educational activities as they stroll through The Gardens and learn about pollinators and plants.

“Monarch butterfly populations have declined due to climate change,” said Michael Arnold, Ph.D., director of The Gardens and professor in the Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences. “We have several activities we hope will encourage visitors to plant pollinator plants in their own gardens to help support the monarch migration later this spring.”

Educational demonstrations include how to make pollinator plant seed cards by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Junior Master Gardeners, seed bombs by a local Girl Scouts troop, mason bee kits by the AgriLife Extension Brazos County Master Gardeners, and butterfly feeders and monarch butterfly masks by The Gardens staff and volunteers.

Family-friendly spring fun

Enjoy refreshments at the Pavilion while the Bryan-College Station Ukulele Club entertains at the Grand Arbor. Other activities include a scavenger hunt and a wall mural to color at the Pavilion, a story walk through The Gardens by the Texas A&M Forest Service, incubator chicks by the Department of Poultry Science, and a plant sale by the TAMU Horticulture Club.

Visitors are encouraged to share their photos of Hullabloom Fest by tagging #TAMUGardens.

A Sensory-Free/Quiet Zone will be available during the event for anyone who wants or needs a quieter environment.

Due to other campus events, parking in Lot 97 and Lot 100 will be $5 without a valid Texas A&M parking permit. Visitors may park for free in Lot 98 or Lot 18. More information about parking, directions and a map are available on the Hullabloom Fest webpage.

Enjoy the blooms throughout the season

If you are unable to attend, here are suggestions for celebrating spring with The Gardens:

  • Bring your camera for photos in front of the spring blooms wall anytime during April.
  • Create and enjoy one of these delicious spring recipes from the AgriLife Extension

Dinner Tonight program:

For more information, visit https://gardens.tamu.edu/hullabloom-fest/.

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