Monday set as Butterfly Day through Selma

Published 10:48 pm Saturday, April 14, 2012

The eastern tiger swallowtail and monarch butterflies are considered the most recognizable of all butterflies due to their size, color and noticeable patterns. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are more than 20 butterflies and moths that are endangered; the city of Selma wants to continue to keep butterflies in flight.

With the swallowtail serving as Selma’s official mascot, Selma Mayor George Evans declared April 16, 2012 as “Save the Butterfly Day.” Evans presented a proclamation that celebrated Selma as the “Butterfly capital of Alabama” to concept creator, Mallieve Breeding during the Selma City Council’s meeting held Tuesday.

Evans said the purpose of the proclamation was to create a safe habitat for butterflies in Selma.

Email newsletter signup

“To promote an understanding and appreciation of butterflies and encourage all citizens to recognize their importance,” Evans said.

Breeding, who was also influential in creating a butterfly garden at the School of Discovery, felt something needed to be done to recognize butterflies.

“In 1980 the Federated garden clubs of Selma and Dallas County learned of the endangered status of all of the pollinators such as bees, bats, butterflies and the rest, and in order to try to protect and preserve the pollinators, we wanted to do what we could to prevent this situation,” Breeding said. “We decided to choose the butterfly because we felt that children would find the butterfly the most appealing as a symbol.”

Breeding said the group chose the swallowtail not only for its beauty, but also for its presence in the state.

The move has brought much attention to Selma, ongoing education through schools and a place in the city’s seal.

“We never dreamed that this program would direct attention to Selma and the area, almost from around the world,” Breeding said. “Thank you (Evans) for supporting this fine, positive effort here in Selma and Dallas County.”

A flag recognizing Selma’s place as the butterfly capital is currently on display inside both Selma City Hall and the Selma-Dallas County Public Library. The Alabama Legislature first incorporated “Save the Butterfly Day” on April 16, 1985.