• Butterfly Pavilion for Museum in the Works

    There’s a lot of flap at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History about a new native butterfly habitat to be sited in the Native Plant Garden on the museum grounds. An exhibitions designer has been hired and a request for proposals for an architect went out last week.

    Staying true to the museums mission, it will only house native butterflies and plants. And staying true to the overwintering population of monarchs, it will only be open from May to August to avoid contamination of the visiting population with the captive one. But monarchs won’t be the only winged guests. Swallowtails and California’s official state insect, the California dogface, are on the guest list, along many other native butterflies which will be sourced from a farm in Carmel Valley.

    dogfacebutterflyheader“This will be a great addition o the scientific studies we promote,” said Lori Mannel, Museum director. “We’ll be looking at migrations, metamorphoses, cultural experience, climate change, fragmentation of habitat and more.” Mannel also cited funding by citizen scientist Helen Johnson which has provided not only for local population counts, but monarch population counts all over Monterey County.

    Initially funded with a $50,000 David and Lucille Packard grant, maintenance costs are projected to include staff, heating, and the cost of goods. Staffing will include oversight of the health of the plants and insects and a guide who will also provide a talk about etiquette to incoming visitors.

    The pavilion will be a “ticketed experience,” but will be free or underwritten for a finite number of underprivileged children. Mannel says the Museum hopes to break even or even make a profit so the butterfly house can “add to the other museum experiences.” The pavilion may even be available during off months as a backdrop for other types of events.

    Opening is projected for May, 2015.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 14, 2013

    Topics: Front PG News

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