The news media is invited to attend the official vote tally for the state butterfly contest that had over 33,000 third, fourth, and fifth graders who participated throughout New York. The tally will take place on Monday, January 7th, 2008, at the Town of Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, at 3:30 p.m. Cortlandt Town Clerk Joanne Dyckman will tally the results and make them known to the public at that time.
State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and State Senator Vincent Leibell will introduce legislation to designate the winner as the official butterfly of New York State. Once the legislation passes, the official butterfly will join the list of state flora and fauna that includes the rose as the state flower, the sugar maple as the state tree, and the bluebird as the state bird.
The contest resulted from a letter Galef received from Karina Franke, a third grade student at Furnace Woods School in Cortlandt Manor. Karina said she and her friends are concerned about wildlife after learning in school that the Karner Blue butterfly is an endangered species due to its dwindling habitat. Karina met with the Assemblywoman, who suggested that third, fourth, and fifth grade students throughout the state decide by a vote which butterfly should become the state butterfly. The contest drew attention to the plight of the Karner Blue and also got young people involved in the voting process.
Students were given a list of five butterfly nominees chosen by experts in the field who identified the most significant butterflies in the state: the Black Swallowtail, the Karner Blue, Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, the Mourning Cloak, and the Red Spotted Purple or White Admiral butterfly.
For more information, please contact the Assemblywoman’s office at 914-941-1111.