firefly park

Becky Yeager looks for monarch eggs or caterpillars on milkweed plants on Friday at the new Firefly Park in Nibley.

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A day spent in nature isn’t always the same as a walk in the park, but Nibley City’s brand new Firefly Park brings the two together with something for all ages.

Several celebratory events are taking place at the park on Saturday to note the grand-opening.

The park is located at 2456 S. 800 West in Nibley, next to the Virgil Gibbons Heritage Park. It includes a nature-themed playground for the little people, while also featuring a boardwalk through a nearby wetland area and a “pollinator garden” in the shape of a butterfly.

Another main attraction at the park is a designated area where residents will be assisting the Xerxes Society on a study of the decline of the monarch butterfly.

The official ribbon cutting will begin at 5 p.m. immediately followed by a family trail parade that is limited to “human-powered” entries.

Sunset yoga takes place at 8 p.m. and the evening will conclude with both a “star party” and fireflies at 10 p.m.

Firefly Park’s opening is the culmination of years of work by the city and local conservationists. In 2016, word spread of fireflies in the area near Virgil Gibbons Heritage Park, and hundreds of people flocked to see them. Conservationist Ron Hellstern spoke with city officials and wrote letters to the editor, concerned that people were catching the fireflies. The Nibley population is much smaller than people might be used to with fireflies back East, Hellstern argued, and it wouldn’t take many people capturing the insects to destroy the colony.

In an effort to sate people’s curiosity in a way that didn’t threaten the fireflies, Stokes Nature Center partnered with Nibley to offer a tour, and more than 2,000 people attended the first year. Twitter: amacavinta

Amy Macavinta is the crime reporter for The Herald Journal. She can be reached at

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