Water Conservation Garden Celebrates Opening of Butterfly Pavilion with Butterfly Festival on April 5th

Public invited to celebrate opening on April 5th
March 12, 2014

The Water Conservation Garden invites the public to celebrate the opening of the Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion at its Butterfly Festival on Saturday, April 5, 2014, 9am-3pm.  The 644-square-foot pavilion, also known as a vivarium, houses six species of butterflies native or endemic to southern California and the drought-tolerant plants that the butterflies draw nectar from or lay eggs on. The model ecosystem, the first of its kind in East County, will offer educational opportunities for thousands of children and adults annually, helping them learn about plant and animal relationships, the butterfly lifecycle, the role of butterflies in the ecosystem, and how they can nurture and observe butterflies in their personal gardens. Tours inside the pavilion will be offered daily during butterfly season which runs approximately late March to October. 

The Butterfly Festival, created as an opening celebration for the butterfly pavilion, offers a days-worth of family-friendly activities focused on exploring butterflies and provides resources for visitors to support butterfly populations, whose numbers are suffering due to urban sprawl and habitat destruction. Activities planned for the day include:

  • Tours inside the Butterfly Pavilion
  • Butterfly-habitat plant sale
  • Butterfly-habitat design consultations and presentations by experts
  • Pollinator Parade with Ms. Smarty-Plants™ and Story Time with Miss Metamorphosis
  • Butterfly Discovery Lab in partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum

Children are encouraged to dress as a caterpillar or their favorite winged pollinator-bee, butterfly, bird, beetle, or bat- for the Pollinator Parade which begins at 11am.  Food, entertainment, kids’ craft activities and unique gift items on sale by local artisans are also planned for the day.  A complete program is at www.thegarden.org/butterfly. Admission to the Butterfly Festival is $5 (18+ years) and $1 (3-17 years). Water Conservation Garden members and young children get in free, with ample free parking for all. 

The Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion was made possible through a generous gift from the Dorcas Utter family, with an entry courtyard named after the William and Norma Verbeck Family. The Garden is also grateful to the major sponsors of the Butterfly Festival: County of San Diego, Baldwin & Sons/Otay Ranch, Pt. Loma Credit Union and Village Nurseries