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Kennesaw’s Smith-Gilbert Gardens’ June 18 summer exhibit openings will be sure to give local families butterflies — literally.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens’ June 18 summer exhibit openings will be sure to give local families butterflies — literally.

The gardens’ opening of its “PLAY ... In Nature” exhibition coincides with National Pollinator Week, June 17-23, and will feature its seasonal “A Garden with Wings” butterfly exhibit. The exhibit includes a large butterfly house and pollinator garden and remains open through the end of July.

“A Garden with Wings” features butterflies native to the area, as well as the butterflies’ host and nectar plants, according to the gardens’ website. Butterflies at all stages of life, from egg to adult, and flowers including lantana and butterfly weed provide plenty of opportunity “to watch these pollinators in action,” the gardens advertise.

The seasonal exhibit also supports hummingbirds, bees and other insects and displays a variety of colorful plants, flowers, trees and shrubs.

The “PLAY ... In Nature” exhibition, which continues through Labor Day, provides opportunities for Kennesaw families to enjoy “unscheduled, unstructured and unplugged” outdoor activities, according to Becca Graham, a spokeswoman for the city of Kennesaw. Graham said the gardens will offer a variety of activities encouraging families to explore nature in a new way.

The exhibition includes arts and crafts activities, hidden reading nooks and interactive play structures, including a human-size birdhouse.

“PLAY ... In Nature” is funded through a sponsorship with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as other donors. But the Cobb community has also come together to contribute, Graham said.

Cobb Master Gardeners, Smith-Gilbert Gardens volunteers and members of the Wheeler High School drafting and design courses also conceived and built structures, she said.

The Smith-Gilbert Gardens are open Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Last entry is allowed at 3:15 p.m. Admission is $3 per person.

Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas

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