The Butterfly Garden at the Science Museum of Western Virginia will be closing on August 15, 2017, for the transition from an exotic butterfly habitat to a native pollinator garden. The Hidden Garden will open this spring with a variety of local butterflies and flowering plants.
The museum’s new pollinator garden will focus on the importance of insect pollinators and their lifecycles. This change also allows the museum to educate the public about insect pollinators and to demonstrate some of the plants that can be grown in local gardens to encourage happy and healthy insect pollinators, including our beautiful native butterflies and moths. “This type of experience allows the Science Museum to encourage learning experiences that go beyond the time our visitors spend within the museum itself,” says Derek Kellogg, the museum’s Scientific Director. When the weather gets cold outside, the plants and insects will continue to be active for the museum’s guests to experience them year-round.
Currently, government permits prohibit breeding of the tropical butterflies within the Butterfly Garden. To accommodate this requirement, the museum has been ordering exotic pupae and introducing the butterflies into the garden on a weekly basis. By utilizing native pollinators, the butterflies within the exhibit will now be allowed to reproduce and become self-sustaining. Once the plant and insect populations begin to establish themselves, museum visitors will have the chance to investigate eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adult butterflies and moths.
Beginning on August 15 and continuing throughout the time that the garden is closed for renovations, Science Museum visitors will be offered a butterfly garden rain check with their paid admission so that our guests will be able to return and enjoy our new Hidden Garden when it reopens.