Nature never closes for business.

So when recreation centers closed and many clubs couldn’t organize in-person meetings, The Villages’ outdoor-focused groups like the Village Birders and The Villages Butterfly Gardens Club organized safe outdoor activities.

As more people took to the outdoors on their leisure time — and clubs provided an outlet for socializing with others who enjoy the outdoors — the birding and butterfly gardening groups noticed increasing interest.

“Looking at birds and butterflies is good for your soul,” said Gary Babic, president of the Village Birders and a member of the Butterfly Gardens Club.

The Village Birders drew 50 new members in the 2020-21 season despite no in-person meetings, a feat that Babic, of the Village of Summerhill, thinks is owed to publicity and word of mouth.

Read this story and many others in Monday's edition of the Daily Sun.