Enjoy tropical warmth without ever leaving Vermont in the new Butterfly Pavilion at the ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.
From now until Labor Day, visitors can enjoy an interactive and educational exhibit – an up-close look at tropical butterflies. Sponsored by Dealer.com, the pavilion will be home to 50 different species from Mexico, South America, Africa, and Asia.
Volunteer “flight attendants” will help create an immersive butterfly experience, educating guests about how to protect these exquisite creatures and their natural environment as they wander among them.
“As the world’s habitats are increasingly threatened with human impacts, it is important that we all have the opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary diversity of the planet’s wildlife,” says Phelan Fretz, Executive Director of ECHO. “The delicate, colorful wings of butterflies and moths reveal evolution’s power to create high functionality and beauty at the same time. We marvel at a butterfly as it skips along, flitting this way and that, looking for a mate and its next nectar meal.”
The exhibit originated at the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Mass. and the butterflies come from Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in Deerfield, Mass. It features colorful butterflies not found in Vermont, including the foot-long Atlas Moth and the elusive Glasswing butterfly. “Seeing these tropical butterflies for the first time, you are immediately struck with the question – how did nature produce this extraordinary, delicate, and fragile wonder?”said Erik Oliver, Director of Development and Communications at ECHO. “Butterflies, Live brings ECHO’s mission to life by engaging people in the joy of scientific discovery about the natural world.”
“It‘s a really magical experience to get up close and personal with these butterflies,” said Cailee Smith, Public Programs Manager. “They’ve been landing on people, so they‘ve had a chance to see the proboscis unfurl and poke around as they look for food, watch the flight and really appreciate the incredible diversity of butterflies up close.”
The exhibit runs until September and is included with ECHO admission.