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U-M Health System Healing Butterfly Garden opens Tuesday

New 1,000-square-foot garden featuring butterflies, native plants will become relaxing respite for U-M patients

ANN ARBOR, Mich - Featuring more than 30 species of butterflies and over 25 types of colorful trees, shrubs and flowers, native to the Ann Arbor area, the University of Michigan Health System’s Healing Butterfly Garden will open on Tuesday for patients, families and staff at U-M.

The Healing Butterfly Garden fills nearly 1,000 square feet of space in the courtyard near the old Mott Hospital and is among the first to be built within a medical center campus and integrated into the patient care experience. Educational signs displayed within the garden area will provide information about the visiting butterflies and the plants found within the area. Additionally, the garden will provide another place for peace and reflection within the courtyard whether between treatments, visiting family members or just looking for a space to eat a quiet lunch.

Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and butterfly release, which begins at 1 p.m., also serves as the kick-off for the Child & Family Life Butterfly Explorer summer program, an educational initiative offering an array of activities within the garden and at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Media are invited to attend the event and are welcome to take photographs and video.

Brendon Weil, a staff specialist at U-M who helped develop the garden, says it’s a unique addition to the patient care experience and one that offers many benefits to patients and families.

“This really is a one-of-a-kind native butterfly garden and patient program, truly another example of how we deliver the Michigan Difference to our patients every day,” Weil says. “The program promotes self-expression and discovery through crafts and learning, and also provides a place for social interaction and support from other patients and families – all while enjoying the magical world of the butterfly.”

The Butterfly Explorer program -- which runs between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Tuesday through the month of August in all Mott activity rooms, classroom and the family center --offers everything from an explorer backpack full of activities for patients and siblings traveling to the garden, to themed crafts and educational programs, as well as displays on the life cycle of the butterflies. 

Event information: Healing Butterfly Garden Ribbon Cutting and Butterfly Release
Time: 1-2 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, June 11
Location: Health System Courtyard near old Mott Hospital

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