Inspired by Sands Point Preserve’s gardens and grounds, a new benefit called the Butterfly Ball will take place on April 28. The event will touch on several conservation initiatives and raise funds for outdoor enhancements including an organic vegetable garden and fruit orchard, a playground and fitness course, as well as a dog run.
“The preserve is listed on the National Register of Historic Places [because of the Castle Gould and Hempstead House’s extraordinary architecture], but [more than that] we want the public to visit year-round for our cultural and educational programs and celebrations,” said managing director Beth Horn.
Also flying in for the weekend is the chance to visit the exotic butterfly habitat. The immersive exhibit, located in the Hempstead House’s mezzanine-level morning room, will have a tropical garden with plants, a waterfall and fresh fruits for the tiny residents. There will be two entomologists onsite during the Butterfly Ball and Family Butterfly Day on Sunday, April 29.
After the event, the butterflies will be donated to the Long Island Aquarium where they’ll be released into its permanent exhibit. But the preserve will still have conservation efforts for the pollinators taking place outdoors.
“With support from the Port Washington Monarch Butterfly Alliance, we have planted two beautiful butterfly gardens filled with one of their favorite foods: milkweed,” said Horn, who mentioned the Monarch Butterfly population is on the decline because of climatic factors and habitat loss. “In season, visitors can find Monarchs flying all over the property.”
The benefit will also include a grand feast. Think exquisite pairings from top Long Island chefs whose dishes reflect the farm-to-table movement and five North Fork wineries (Paumanok Vineyards, McCalls Wines, Raphael Winery, Wolffer Estate and Bedell Cellars). There will also be dessert and dancing with a live band inside the mansion.
“The Butterfly Ball will be in the spirit of the Gold Coast Era when parties were lavish, food and wine were abundant and entertainment was thrilling…all [while] bringing attention to the [importance] of the environment.”