Hundreds of butterflies were released in Surrey Centre Cemetery on Friday morning, in a ceremony celebrating the cycle of life.
Nearly 300 students from Surrey Centre Elementary walked over to Angela’s Garden, a small garden in the centre of the cemetery, to release the butterflies they had raised.
The butterflies are en route pic.twitter.com/jd5WmAEjLg
— Sam Anderson (@sam_andrsn) May 25, 2018
Surrey Cemeteries staff member Angela Hollaus came forward with the idea of creating a garden at the cemetery about five years ago, with the purpose of both enhancing the cemetery and building connections within the community.
“Angela came to me with the idea of creating this beautiful space that people who are visiting their loved ones would enjoy, but also to create something to connect with children at the schools. To come in and celebrate this beautiful green space,” said Parks Operations Co-ordinator Anna Christian.
The garden, now known as Angela’s Garden, was built in 2014. It’s filled with bee- and butterfly-friendly plants, park benches, and homes for mason bees. Every year, the cemetery hosts a butterfly release with a different school. The May 25 event was the cemetery’s sixth-annual event.
“The whole premise behind this is to teach children about the cycle of life. Often people don’t talk to kids about death,” said Christian.
“Children aren’t afraid to be in cemeteries. Parents are afraid. So [this is] really about having them comfortable to have those conversations,” she said.
Surrey Centre Cemetery will host another butterfly release for a Father’s Day event on Saturday, June 16, honouring fathers past and present. For more information, visit surrey.ca.