Desert Botanical Garden breaks ground on butterfly exhibit

Tina Marie Tentori, Veronica Brana, Tammy McLeod, of Paradise Valley. (submitted photo)

Tina Marie Tentori, Veronica Brana, Tammy McLeod, of Paradise Valley. (submitted photo)

The Desert Botanical Garden has announced that it ground on a new, expanded butterfly exhibit on Nov. 16.

Set to open in March 2017, the new Butterfly Pavilion will be located on the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail and will feature hundreds of live butterflies, as well as a caterpillar nursery and emergence chamber, according to a press release.

The garden’s newest exhibit will provide visitors an opportunity for up close interaction with butterflies while learning about their role as pollinators, characteristics of the butterfly in different lifecycles, and conservation efforts to protect them.

“The garden’s first butterfly pavilion opened in 2002. It was intended as a five-year pilot project to see if our visitors would enjoy butterflies. After just a few weeks we knew the answer to that question was a resounding ‘yes,’ and the first butterfly pavilion went on to operate for more than 12 years,” said Ken Schutz, the Dr. William Huizingh executive director, in the press release.

“When it was time to ‘retire’ that exhibit, we knew that we wanted to replace it with a permanent facility that was even more special – one that incorporated all phases of a butterfly’s life cycle and one that was architecturally consistent with the rest of the garden’s unique structures.”

Butterfly Pavilion Render View 1 by Spurlock Landscape Design

The new location has views of Papago Butte and the white screening that wraps the structure is virtually invisible, creating the sense of being outdoors and one with nature.

Construction of the new exhibit is made possible by generous donors who have made gifts to The Saguaro Initiative campaign, the release stated.

Leading the way in support of the new Butterfly Pavilion is the APS Foundation whose financial donation allows for the construction of the APS Foundation Butterfly Landing.

Located just outside the Butterfly Pavilion adjacent to a Monarch butterfly garden display, the APS Foundation Butterfly Landing will provide a dedicated space for school groups, children and families to gather and participate in education programs.

“The APS Foundation is committed to ensuring that Arizona students have access to high-quality, innovative science education and the APS Foundation Butterfly Landing will be an area where thousands of children will learn firsthand about butterflies and their positive impact on our beautiful desert,” said APS Foundation Executive Director Tina Marie Tentori, in the release.

The seasonal pavilion will preview to garden members on Monday, Feb. 27 – Friday, March 3, 2017 and opens to all garden visitors on Saturday, March 4, 2017.

The Butterfly Pavilion will be open daily through Mother’s Day Sunday, May 14, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Desert Botanical Garden is located 1201 N. Galvin Parkway.

Visit for admission prices and information.

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