Smith-Gilbert Gardens hosts Pollinator Palooza to start “A Garden with Wings”

Butterflies and bees surround flowers

Pollinators are a critical element of the environment.

Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and birds, play a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. 

They are essential for reproducing over 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species. The fruits and seeds produced by insect pollination are a major part of the diet of approximately 25 percent of birds and of mammals ranging from red-backed voles to grizzly bears. 

In many places, these animals’ survival and the ecosystems’ health depend largely on pollinators, which also contribute significantly to the global economy by enhancing food security through crop pollination.

Kennesaw’s Smith-Gilbert Gardens announced a new event to launch this year’s opening of “A Garden with Wings” and its associated Butterfly Exhibit.

The event is called Pollinator Palooza and will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024. 

This year, the popular butterfly garden exhibit will be extended for two months, from June 1 to July 31, 2024. 

The press release from the City of Kennesaw describes the event as follows:

During Pollinator Palooza, visitors will have the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the Butterfly Exhibit without purchasing an additional butterfly house ticket. The event will also feature a variety of booths including arts, crafts and community partners focused on pollinator conservation, including Birds Georgia, Georgia Bat Working Group, Foodwell Alliance, Cobb County Master Gardeners, and Socially Chy.

“We are excited to announce our upcoming event, Pollinator Palooza, which marks the beginning of our highly anticipated Butterfly Exhibit,” says Dave Simpson, Executive Director of Smith-Gilbert Gardens. “This event will offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the crucial role of pollinators and the plants that support their survival. We are particularly excited to extend ‘A Garden with Wings’ exhibit for two months this year, providing more chances for visitors to experience this beloved attraction.”

The Butterfly Exhibit will be open to visitors every Tuesday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting June 1.

The exhibit will describe butterflies in all stages of life, from egg to adult and will educate visitors on plants crucial to butterflies’ survival.

The press release highlights the tulip poplar and passionflower vine and mentions that those plants are great places to see caterpillars.

The exhibit is free for Smith-Gilbert Garden members. Non-members will need to purchase tickets in addition to Garden Admission. Butterfly House tickets are $3 per person online or in person in the Gardens Gift Shop. Advanced online purchase is strongly encouraged.

For more information visit

About Smith Gilbert Gardens

Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw is on the site of the Hiram Butler home, built about 1880.

According to the gardens’ mission page:

In 1970, Mr. Richard Smith and Dr. Robert Gilbert bought the Hiram Butler House and surrounding acreage in Kennesaw, Georgia. Over the following 35 years, they realized their dream of developing the house and grounds, with an emphasis on unique plantings and thoughtfully positioned sculpture.

The 17-acre complex of specialized gardens is now a City of Kennesaw botanical garden.

Gardens include a Bonsai Exhibit, Palladino Camellia Garden, tea house and waterfall area, Rose Garden, and Conifer Display.  

The Smith Gilbert Gardens  are also designated a wildlife habitat by the Atlanta Audubon Society. 

For more information visit the Smith Gilbert Gardens website.