By John Bolthouse | Growing Balboa Park
Friends of Balboa Park, a nonprofit that preserves the legacy and beauty of the park, is stewarding a number of exclusive opportunities for the community to become a part of enhancing Balboa Park.
Annual Butterfly Release
Saturday, May 26
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Zoro Garden / Butterfly Garden
With the help of the community, Friends of Balboa Park celebrates spring each year by releasing approximately 400 live painted lady butterflies in Zoro Garden. The butterfly release takes place each year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and is one of several events organized as part of the Park-wide Fiesta Botanica celebration organized by the Balboa Park Conservancy. The family-friendly event includes arts-and-crafts activities hosted by the San Diego Floral Association and a special musical performance by Kathryn the Grape.
In 2010, Zoro Garden in Balboa Park was renamed the Butterfly Garden, a place where caterpillars could find an environment and food source in which to transform into butterflies. We are grateful to the generous donors and sponsors whose support makes this event possible, please visit our website for more details.
Friends of Balboa Park celebrated National Arbor Day on April 27 with a new local beer — Urban Arbor IPA — and the planting of 33 trees in a grove off Park Boulevard across from the San Diego Zoo.
In honor of the day, Karl Strauss and Automatic Brewing partnered with custom wood shop San Diego Urban Timber to brew the limited release beer using juniper berries and Torrey Pine timber sourced from the park. This IPA was sold at all Karl Strauss locations, as well as Blind Lady Ale House, Tiger! Tiger!, and Panama 66 in the park through the end of April, and proceeds from each pint sold benefited Friends of Balboa Park.
“Friends is honored to have such strong support from our donors and corporate partners that enables us to continue making meaningful enhancements to the park,” said Executive Director John Bolthouse. “Balboa Park is already the jewel of San Diego, so being able to add more trees to the lush landscape is a great gift.”
Six different varietals suitable for San Diego’s semi-arid climate were planted, including peppermint willow, camphor, naked coral, Moreton Bay fig, Hong Kong orchid and fern pine.
Friends of Balboa Park, a strategic partner of the San Diego’s Parks and Recreation department, has been celebrating Arbor Day in the park since 2008.
Balboa Park Carousel
Friends recently purchased the historic Balboa Park Carousel and launched a three-year $3 million fundraising capital campaign to restore and complete purchase of the Carousel. The campaign has surpassed the $1 million mark thus far, thanks to the community’s generosity. We still have a ways to go to reach our next milestone, and need your support. Please consider a donation today, and help preserve one of the park’s most shining jewels!
For more information on the annual butterfly release or to support the Balboa Park Carousel, call 619-232-2282 or visit friendsofbalboapark.org.
Friends of Balboa Park is an affinity group that enhances and maintains The Park through donations and Park programs. The group has spearheaded major capital improvement initiatives throughout The Park, including information kiosks, restoration of the historic gate houses and lily pond, Adopt-A-Plot, dedicated bench program, tree dedications, and other programs that facilitate the community’s direct involvement in the enhancement of Balboa Park.
— John Bolthouse is the executive director of nonprofit Friends of Balboa Park. For more information, visit FriendsOfBalboaPark.org.