Close message button

Butterfly Pavilion is closed today 11/26 for Thanksgiving! We'll reopen for normal hours on Friday!

Today's Hours
First Entry 9:00 am
Last Entry 4:00 pm
Donate Buy Tickets
Menu
Today's Hours
First Entry 9:00 am
Last Entry 4:00 pm

How to Grow a Conservationist

How to Grow a Conservationist

By Taylor Bennet, Exhibit Interpreter at Butterfly Pavilion

When asked “why visit Wings of the Tropics?” many people will tell you they come for the thrill of being chosen as a butterfly’s perch or for the simple joy of exploring the tropics.

But what may be less apparent at first glance is how simply having fun exploring our conservatory and interacting with butterflies that call it home, you and your kids are making valuable connections to local and global conservation.

Butterfly Pavilion exists to foster an appreciation of invertebrates, and one of the best ways we can do that is by getting you up close and personal with our butterflies, moths, chrysalides and plants. While wandering our rainforest you might see for the first time the small tree that provides the coffee that fuels your busy day. And if you stick around for our Rainforest Walking Tour, you will discover the environmental benefits of naturally shade-grown coffee. You could find yourself learning about the sustainability of butterfly farming, or how we can protect butterflies by creating pollinator districts. Whatever your take-away, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate these important messages to young kids. Fear not, though, because your child is gaining just as much conservation knowledge as you are, only in different ways.

Guiding safe interactions with our butterflies by encouraging no harm and mindful exploration begins instilling respect for these and other insects from a young age. When children discover for themselves that being kind to a butterfly means they get to watch it dance through the sky or walk along the trails with them, they are learning the fundamentals of conservation. When children see butterflies feeding on nectar from the flowers they chose not to pick, they are beginning to understand the importance of habitat preservation. These lessons may seem intangible in the moment, but over time this exploration of a living, breathing rainforest and its inhabitants can grow into a desire to protect and care for these forms of life.

As adults, it’s easy to attribute our environmentally-friendly attitudes to the education we may have received on recycling, ecology, deforestation, etc. While these are all great topics to learn about, research has shown that conservation-minded adults actually gain their tendencies as children by exploring nature first-hand. However, living in an increasingly urban area can make it difficult to provide today’s children with enough of this type of nature play. Butterfly Pavilion’s forested conservatory fills this important niche by creating space for this type of inquiry. In this space, different age groups will go about investigation and learning in unique ways that most benefit their needs.

For children up to three years old, it is important to begin building a conservation-based outlook by simply helping them discover that animals are fascinating. They can begin to learn this through sensory exploration; taking in the sights, smells and feel of a tropical rainforest. Come spring, children in this age group may even start to recognize butterflies that they saw in our conservatory, like Painted Ladies or Tiger Swallowtails, flying around their own backyard! As they get a little older, they will start to draw connections between these butterflies and the habitats they live in. Children as young as four to seven years old will be able to observe areas like our chrysalis chamber and begin to understand butterfly lifecycles. It is also at this age that children can start to grasp ideas like recycling and conserving energy. As they continue to grow older, children’s’ capacity to learn and appreciate more complex conservation messages increases as well, but the foundation for this caring and understanding starts before they may even be able to walk.

Our butterfly conservatory always has something new to see and explore no matter your age and our passionate exhibit interpreters will be there every step of the way to guide you to your next “Aha!” moment. Whether you are learning about butterfly farming on the other side of the world or the Monarch migration right here in Colorado, studying the intricate design of a butterfly’s wings or sitting back and watching them glide from flower to flower, you and your children are building connections to conservation that will last a lifetime.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to receive updates on our animals and learn about what goes on behind the scenes at Butterfly Pavilion!

 

Blog

September 25, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

We Believe in the Power of Invertebrates

Read More
November 20, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Visit Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion and name their newest animal during a one-of-a-kind octopus occasion!

Visit Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion and name their newest animal during a one-of-a-kind octopus occasion!
Read More
October 21, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion and Local Hive™ Partnership Yields Limited-Edition Honey

Read More
October 9, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Offering a Safe, Socially-Distanced Trick-or-Treating Experience for Colorado Families this Halloween

Butterfly Pavilion Offering a Safe, Socially-Distanced Trick-or-Treating Experience for Colorado Families this Halloween Season
Read More
August 28, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarch Magic Returns to Butterfly Pavilion, Sept. 13-30, 2020

Read More
August 27, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion Welcomes Dragonflies Reared Under Human Care

Read More
August 7, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Protecting Insects: a Zoo within a Zoo

Read More
July 24, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Updates Timed-Entry Model to Include Self-Guided Tours

Read More
June 9, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Reopens to the Public June 12 and 13

Read More
June 5, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Miller Moths In the Front Range

Miller Moths In the Front Range
Read More
May 27, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion’s Dr. Rich Reading Honored by Mongolian Government

Butterfly Pavilion’s Dr. Rich Reading Honored by Mongolian Government
Read More
April 28, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

What is the difference between an invertebrate and a vertebrate? [With Examples]

What is the difference between an invertebrate and a vertebrate? [With Examples]
Read More
April 27, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

What is a pollinator?

What is a pollinator?
Read More
April 27, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

What is an Invertebrate? [With Examples]

What is an Invertebrate?
Read More
March 11, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Celebrating New & Old Life at Butterfly Pavilion

Celebrating New & Old Life at Butterfly Pavilion
Read More
March 10, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Will Be Closed Until Further Notice

Read More
March 2, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

World Spider Day At Butterfly Pavilion

Read More
March 2, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarchs: Counting Where it Counts

Read More
February 20, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion Celebrates 25 Years of Conservation in 2020

Read More
January 29, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Livestream Programs: Uncovering Colorado’s Coral Connection

Read More
January 29, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Corals in Crisis: Saving America’s Barrier Reef

Read More
January 6, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Farming: Expanding Global Conservation Efforts While Bringing the Tropics to Colorado

Read More
January 2, 2020
By Butterfly Pavilion

How to Grow a Conservationist

Read More
December 27, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Achieves Milestone in Serving Pollinators

Read More
November 14, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Gardens on Spring Creek Re-Open Nov. 16 in Fort Collins with Help from Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion

Read More
October 30, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Join Butterfly Pavilion for Halloween Trick-or-Treating

Read More
October 28, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Spectacular Northern Birdwings Come to Butterfly Pavilion

Read More
October 28, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Virtual Learning: Making Connections through Conservation Education

Read More
October 24, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Become Part of Our Community!

Read More
October 3, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Pollination Celebration 2019

Read More
October 3, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Gardens on Spring Creek

Read More
October 1, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Welcome to Bugtober: Masquerade!

Read More
October 1, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

You are cordially invited to Butterfly Pavilion’s Bugtober Masquerade!

Read More
September 30, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion’s Annual Bugtober Returns Oct. 1-31

Read More
September 11, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarch Magic takes Center Stage at Butterfly Pavilion, Sept. 16-29, 2019

Read More
August 30, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarchs in Mexico – A Butterfly Pavilion Trip

Read More
August 20, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Your Beekeeping Questions, Answered

Read More
August 13, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Three Colorado Organizations – Teakoe, Local Hive™ and Butterfly Pavilion – Brew Up Plan to Protect Pollinators

Read More
July 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Best Defense is a Good Bee Fence

Read More
July 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Bring Butterfly Pavilion to Your Classroom this Fall

Read More
July 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Grow a Pollinator Sanctuary

Read More
July 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Peacock Mantis Shrimp “Chuck Smashty” Arrives at Butterfly Pavilion for its big zoo debut on Saturday!

Read More
June 28, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Follow Your Nose: A Fragrant Tour of Butterfly Pavilion’s Gardens

Read More
June 28, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Teaching Toxic Terrors

Read More
June 28, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

You’re Invited to Rosie’s Birthday Bash!

Read More
June 20, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Announces Pollinator District, a New Model for Conservation and Real Estate Development

Read More
June 19, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Mosquito and Tick Season Survival Guide

Read More
May 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterflies at Chatfield Farms: A joint venture between Butterfly Pavilion and Denver Botanic Gardens

Read More
May 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Making an Impact for Oceans, Right Here in Colorado

Read More
May 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

How to Make Lasting Memories this Summer with the Whole Family

Read More
May 24, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Celebrates Pollinator Week with a FREE Outdoor Movie Night, featuring Bee Movie, sponsored by Local Hive™ from Rice’s Honey®

Read More
May 23, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

How a Mistake Became an Opportunity

Read More
May 21, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

6 Unique Things to Do ONLY at Butterfly Pavilion

Read More
May 1, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Grass Stains are the Goal at Butterfly Pavilion Camps

Read More
April 30, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Pollen: Friend or Foe?

Read More
April 30, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Take the Plunge, Become a Beekeeper!

Read More
April 3, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Celebrate National Volunteer Week with Butterfly Pavilion!

Read More
April 1, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Crowdsourcing Science: How Everyday Citizens make large-scale Science Possible

Read More
March 29, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion: A Second Home for Homeschoolers

Read More
March 27, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Receives $13 Million for its New Facility from Broomfield

Read More
March 4, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Get to Know Your Neighbors in Butterfly Pavilion’s Newest Exhibit – Colorado Backyard

Read More
February 26, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Get to Know Your Neighbors in Butterfly Pavilion’s Newest Interactive Exhibit

Read More
February 25, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Meet Rosie without Leaving your School or Home!

Read More
February 25, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

The Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)

Read More
February 20, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion Weighs in on Insect Population Declines

Read More
February 20, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

A Response to Article: Why insect populations are plummeting – and why it matters

Read More
February 11, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterflies and Birthdays

Read More
February 1, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Monarchs: Are the Numbers Up or Down?

Read More
January 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Welcomes New Butterfly & Moth Expert to its Ranks

Read More
January 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

An Inside Look at Butterfly Pavilion’s Education Department

Read More
January 31, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Seniors Enrich Butterfly Pavilion through Innovative Employment Program

Read More
January 4, 2019
By Butterfly Pavilion

Meet Our Animal and Plant Scientists

Read More
December 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Distance Learning: It’s for Everyone, Near & Far

Read More
December 3, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Bee Fencing to Protect People and Elephants

Read More
December 3, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

A Cure for Winter Doldrums

Read More
November 28, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

12 Days of Invertebrates Animal Showcase (and Song!) Comes to Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion This December

Read More
November 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado State University and Butterfly Pavilion Formalize Partnership

CSU and Butterfly Pavilion expand their support of interns and their research impact.
Read More
November 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Inspiring Environmental Stewardship

We're inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards.
Read More
October 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Statement on National Academy of Sciences Study Findings

Read More
October 16, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion on FOX31 Morning News

Visit Colorado's Invertebrate Zoo to see impressive toxic terrors.
Read More
October 4, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion in Mongolia: Parnassius Butterfly Conservation

Read More
October 2, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Environmental Education: Making Magical Connections

Environmental Education: Making Magical Connections
Read More
September 28, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion Debuts Its New Look

Butterfly Pavilion Launches New Brand and Website
Read More
September 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

BUGTOBER Returns to Butterfly Pavilion Oct. 1-31, 2018 for a Month of Toxic Terror!

Join us....if you dare!
Read More
September 6, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Business of “Bugs”: Leading Environmental Action for Sustainability

A Business of “Bugs”: Leading Environmental Action for Sustainability
Read More
September 4, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Protecting Spiders with the SWARM Program

We work to protect the species others overlook.
Read More
August 17, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Colorado Celebrates World Honey Bee Day at Butterfly Pavilion

Celebrate World Honey Bee Day at Butterfly Pavilion
Read More
August 3, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Importance of Nature Play & Family Adventures

Nature is essential to our well-being as humans.
Read More
July 13, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Summer Events in Full Bloom

Summer Events and Exhibits are in Full Bloom at Colorado's Butterfly Pavilion
Read More
July 2, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Dragonfly Research at High Altitude

Loving Dragonflies at High Altitude
Read More
July 2, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

New Media. New Experiences.

It's incredible what a team can pull together with a little bit of passion.
Read More
June 20, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Colorado’s Butterfly Pavilion And Denver’s Edible Beats Restaurant Group Announce New Beehive Partnership

We are proud to establish and manage a beehive in the Edible Beats Restaurant Group's urban garden. We are incredibly happy that honey from our bees, locally sourced will be served at some of Denver's best restaurants like, Root Down, Linger, Ophelia's, Vital Root and El Five.
Read More
June 4, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Monarchs & Magical Cities: A Journey to Mexico’s Monarch Sanctuaries

Monarchs & Magical Cities: A Journey to Mexico's Monarch Sanctuaries
Read More
May 25, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Statement on Poisoned Bees

As a leader in pollinator conservation, Butterfly Pavilion has a responsibility as stewards of invertebrates and their habitats to find sustainable solutions to the pollinator crisis, through habitat restoration, research, and responsible conscientious pest management practices.
Read More
May 7, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Telling the Untold Story: The Value of Interpreting Invertebrates

The Value of Interpreting Invertebrates
Read More
May 7, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Beekeeping, Pollinator Awareness through Conservation and Education, and Rice’s Honey

Beekeeping, PACE, and Rice's Honey
Read More
April 17, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion Announces Naming Contest for Our New Octopus

Can you come up with the winning name for our Octopus Vulgaris, the common octopus?
Read More
April 5, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Saving Coastal Dunes, One Bug at a Time

Did you ever think bugs could save a beach? Well, they can!
Read More
March 23, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

New Survival Exhibit Opens at Butterfly Pavilion on March 24, 2018

Colorado’s only invertebrate zoo, will debut its newest interactive exhibit, Survival, beginning March 24, 2018.
Read More
March 22, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Mystery of Colorado’s Butterfly Populations

“Where have all the butterflies gone?” is a common question I get when I tell people I study butterflies for a living.
Read More
March 6, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

World Spider Day Comes to Butterfly Pavilion March 17, 2018

World Spider Day Spins a Fascinating Web at Butterfly Pavilion on March 17, 2018
Read More
March 2, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Value of Citizen Science

Picture a scientist. What is the person wearing? What are they doing? Do you they look anything like you?
Read More
February 1, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

Entomophagy: Could Eating Insects Save the World?

Entomophagy is the technical term for eating insects...
Read More
February 1, 2018
By Mary Ann Colley

The Urban Prairies Project: Habitat Conservation and Community Wellness

Sometimes, conservation and habitat restoration wind up building community.
Read More
January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

A Message from our President and CEO

Science and education can change the world.
Read More
January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Keeping PACE with Butterfly Pavilion’s Conservation Efforts

The Science and Conservation department at Butterfly Pavilion is excited to make important strides for pollinators.
Read More
January 22, 2018
By Butterfly Pavilion

Two Colorado Companies Join Forces to Promote Pollinator Awareness Worldwide

Rice’s® Honey to partner with Butterfly Pavilion’s PACE Initiative to inform consumers about the importance of pollination.
Read More
November 1, 2017
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion to participate in the Colorado Pollinator Summit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, Nov. 2, 2017

One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators like bees, butterflies and beetles and without them, there would be no fruits, nuts, vegetables, oils or most flowers!
Read More
September 26, 2017
By Butterfly Pavilion

Butterfly Pavilion’s New Facility in Broomfield, Colo. to be the Global Hub for Invertebrate Research, Conservation and Education

New, $30M, 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art invertebrate zoo and research center will be the jewel of the global invertebrate community – inspiring a new way of connecting to environmental conservation.
Read More