A newly-free butterfly rests its wings at Surrey Centre Cemetery. (Samantha Anderson)

Children release hundreds of butterflies at Cloverdale’s Surrey Centre Cemetery

More than 250 students from A.J. McLellan school participated in the annual event

A.J. McLellan Elementary students released hundreds of butterflies at Surrey Centre Cemetery this week to celebrate the cycle of life.

The annual event, now in its seventh year, sees students from kindergarten to Grace 6 raise butterflies from eggs, through the caterpillar and chrysalis stages, to become adult butterflies.

“The idea behind the event is to teach children about the cycle of life and enhance connections between the community and the cemetery,” said Yalda Asadian, manager of community enhancement, in a press release. “This event opens up conversations around life and death – an important topic we don’t often talk about with our children.”

The butterflies are released in Angela’s Garden, a small oasis within the Cloverdale cemetery that’s filled with bee- and butterfly-friendly plants, park benches, and homes for mason bees.

The garden is named for Surrey Cemeteries staff member Angela Hollaus, who first proposed the idea of creating a garden within the cemetery about six years ago. The green space allows for a quiet, beautiful space to reflect on the cemetery grounds.

Well, it’s usually quiet. On Tuesday morning (May 28), it was filled with 282 elementary students, in addition to teachers, parents, and community members, and it was anything but.

Celebrant Godwyn Young donned butterfly wings and quizzed the students on the butterfly life cycle, and told not a small number of insect-related jokes.

(Why did the kid throw butter out the window? He wanted to see a “butter fly.”)

Classes then took turns releasing the butterflies they had been taking care of for weeks.

The next butterfly release at Surrey Centre Cemetery will take place on Father’s Day weekend, on Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free, open to the public, and honours fathers past and present.

The cemetery is located at 16671 Old McLellan Road. Angela’s Garden is found at the intersection of the main paths.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


A.J. McLellan kindergarten students hold butterflies they raised at their school. (Samantha Anderson)

Celebrant Godwyn Young quizzes the assembled students on butterflies before the release. (Samantha Anderson)

Just Posted

White Rock senior ‘just sick’ about lost rings

Wedding, engagement bands discovered missing on Oct. 7

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

Surrey cold-case murder is Crime Stoppers’ ‘Crime of the week’

Police have yet to arrest a suspect in the April 24, 2011 murder of Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, in Newton

Surrey’s ready for winter with 17,000 tonnes of salt, online snow plow tracker

A sidewalk-clearing pilot project is continuing in City Centre this year

TransLink to discuss proposed bus-route changes at White Rock forum

“It is important that the opinions of riders are heard,” says mayor

Fashion Fridays: 5 things to remove from your closet

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

Most Read

l -->