Spring Garden & Butterfly Festival


More than 5,000 visitors are expected to converge on the Cuyamaca College campus when the annual Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival returns for its 25th year on Saturday, April 28, as the college, the Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum presents a family-friendly day of activities packed with landscape design consultations, butterfly releases and more.

The Water Conservation Garden and the Heritage of the Americas Museum are housed at Cuyamaca College, and all three have scheduled a bevy of activities. Cuyamaca College’s award-winning Ornamental Horticulture Department, for example, is hosting its biggest plant sale of the year, with proceeds supplementing the program’s operations. The Water Conservation Garden will stage exhibitions on sustainable water use, butterfly releases and a pollinator party. The Heritage of the Americas Museum is presenting a Kumeyaay fire-making and artifacts demonstration, along with docent-led tours.

“The Spring Garden and Butterfly Festival is a great way for the college, the Water Conservation Garden, and the Heritage of the Americas Museum to highlight the innovative programs we offer to the community,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes. “It’s also an awesome way to spend a Saturday.”

Indeed, up to 50 vendors, craftspeople and artisans will be on hand at Cuyamaca College’s Grand Lawn.

The popular event, one of the largest in San Diego’s East County, has its roots in the Spring Garden Festival launched 25 years ago by the Ornamental Horticulture program at Cuyamaca College. In 2017, it combined forces with the annual Butterfly Festival, which took flight after the Water Conservation Garden opened its Butterfly Pavilion in 2014.


5-Choices Dream Drawing Prizes

With Prizes Representing the Four Wings of the Museum


Choice 1: Natural History

Stunning Amethyst Wave with stand


Choice 4: Art

Framed original oil “Chewing Black Bone” by Douglas Weaver


Choice 2: Archaeology

3,000 year-old Pre-Columbian gourd effigy pottery pipe with certificate of authenticity and framed archaic points, tools & money from the Bud Lueck collection

Choose your dream prize by purchasing tickets for only $1 each!

Tickets can be purchased by calling or visiting the museum. 

Drawing occurs at 2:30PM and you need not be present to win!

This is a great drawing because you get your choice. Just circle the number of your choice on the ticket and it goes in the matching jar. If you want extra tickets, give us your cash or check and we'll fill them out for you. The prizes this year are incredible, so we're hoping this will be a great fundraiser for the Museum. Thank you!


Choice 3: Anthropology

Large lidded basket from Columbia made by tribal basket maker & Native American drum


Choice 5: Museum Store

$50 Gift Certificate for the Museum Store

Museum Schedule of events


  • Fine Arts Show & Sale
  • Diana Kam Chinese Brush Stroke Demonstration


  • 10:30 AM - Docent-led Tour of the Museum Gardens
  • 11:00 AM - Presentation: The Vitamin “N” (Nature) Factor In Our Lives, & Our National Parks Future!
  • 12:30 PM - Docent-led Tour of the Museum
  • 1:00 PM - Presentation: Moving to Mars
  • 2:00 PM - Kumeyaay Fire-Making & Artifacts Demonstration
  • 2:30 PM - 5-Choices Dream Drawing (Need Not be Present to Win)

Event feature Presentations


11 AM: The Vitamin “N” (Nature) Factor in our Lives, & Our National Parks’ Future!

Please join Bill Evans and explore the many significant benefits and rewards of the Nature (Vitamin “N”) Factor, and why this is such an important ingredient for our overall health in today's world. The Vitamin "N" experience might well reach its most potent potential in our State and National Parks, Monuments, and wilderness areas.  Their future for us, our children, and our grandchildren is now seriously threatened.  Bill will share a visual odyssey of his most influential Nature Vitamin, Glacier National Park, MT., a U.N. World Heritage Site. Bill, now a Museum volunteer, has been a Sierra Club National Outings Leader for 20 years. He’s visited, led outings, and photographed most of the Western U.S. National Parks. He said, “My ‘love affair’ with our National Parks began when I was a seasonal employee in Glacier National Park, Montana.” He will also share with you how you can become involved in protecting our National Parks!


1 PM: Moving to Mars

A Maya scribe looks up to the heavens and tracks the movement a tiny speck of red light. Thousands of years later we ponder the red planet and wonder if humanity will ever make the leap to become a space-based culture. In our time together we will explore the possibility and technology that will take us to another home... Mars. Dr. Dave Roberts, anthropologist, photographer, and historian, has worked in the field of anthropology for over thirty-five years from a conference speaker and published author, to a field researcher…from the Caribbean, to Central and South America. And now he’s a Museum volunteer!

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2 PM: Kumeyaay Artifact & Fire-Making Demo

Fred Thompson has been our Kumeyaay presenter for many years. Fred and Roy Hastings took Kumeyaay artifacts out to school classrooms, teaching students about, “A Day in the Life of a Kumeyaay.” They would end the presentation with a demonstration of one of the ways that fire was made before 1492. Now the presentations are given at the Museum as part of our Focus Field Trip Program. As always, the fire making is the hit. All ages are amazed and excited watching fire come alive from friction using a fire-making bow. Don’t miss this presentation and demonstration out on the Daniel R. Ciccati Tropical Garden Patio.     

Garden Schedule of Events

Scheduled Activities at The Garden

  • 9:30 a.m. - Story Time with Ms. Metamorphosis
  • 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Landscape Design Consultations*
  • 11:00 a.m. - Pollinator Party with Ms. Smarty-Plants™
  • 12:00 p.m. - Docent-led tour of The Garden
  • 12:30 p.m. - Story Time with Ms. Metamorphosis

*Landscape Design Consultations are $20 for 20 minutes; a reservation and prepayment is required. Walk-ups are accommodated when possible.

Please bring photos of your yard, a list of preferred plants (if any) and photos of landscape designs you like.  Please call 619-660-0614 x10 to register.