GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s annual butterfly exhibit returns this spring to help the West Michigan community beat the winter blues.
The Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies in Bloom exhibit brings 7,500 tropical butterflies for visitors to enjoy an up close experience as the butterflies fly freely through the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
This year marks the 28th year that Meijer Gardens offers an intimate opportunity to see the wonderful world of butterflies. This year’s event has a different theme: the microscopic details and the beauty of the species.
“We invite and encourage you to delve deep into the details to witness the beauty of these unique creatures up close,” said Steve LaWarre, vice president of horticulture at Meijer Gardens, in a prepared statement.
The highly anticipated exhibit, held every March and April, is the largest temporary exhibit of tropical butterflies in the United States, officials said.
About 60 colorful species of butterflies and moths travel from butterfly-rich regions of Costa Rica, Ecuador, the Philippines and Kenya to fly freely at the five-story, 15,000-square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory.
At 85 degrees and 70% humidity, the environment inside the conservatory mimics the tropical regions that butterflies call home. Patrons can look forward to seeing nearly 1,000 dolls being delivered to Meijer Gardens each week of the exhibition, officials said.
The observation station is open for guests to see these fascinating creatures spread their wings for the first time, among other things.
“We added new exploration stations in the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse, where guests can use magnifying glasses to enjoy a unique view of the plant material that helps butterflies thrive,” said LaWarre.
While Meijer Gardens encourages visitors to ask questions and “tune your senses to the little ones” during their visit, there are exhibit rules that must be followed, including:
- Don’t touch the butterflies.
- Tripods are not permitted in the conservatory during the butterfly exhibition. Monopods can be used while being polite to other guests.
- Per USDA regulations, no butterfly or plant material may leave the conservatory.
Admission is $20 for 14-64 year olds, $15 for seniors 65 and older, $15 for students with ID, and $10 for children 3-13 years old. Children up to 2 years have free entry.
Extended opening hours and exhibition activities as well as the full calendar of events can be found online at MeijerGardens.org/calender.
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