The heart of our expansion is the 1,500 square foot Butterfly House, built in partnership with Butterfly Pavilion, the first stand-alone, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited non-profit invertebrate zoo. Residents can expect to experience the Butterfly House as a year-round home to hundreds of North American butterflies and dozens of varieties of flowering plants. This warm and experiential sensory experience allows all ages to get “up close” to both butterflies and plants in a tropical environment. Other attractions in the house include a chrysalis window, a 220 square foot living wall, and meandering pathways.
Butterfly Pavilion, Gardens on Spring Creek, and City of Fort Collins
Total Square Feet of Butterfly House:
1,500 square feet
Types of Butterflies:
How many Butterflies?:
300 free-flying butterflies and moths. Butterflies such as Monarchs, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals, Pipevine, Black & Tiger Swallowtails, Red Spotted Purples will be included.
Total Project Cost:
$3 million (Visitor’s Center project including butterfly house)
Varieties of Tropical Plants:
Other Offerings in the House:
Interpretation and education provided by staff and volunteers
Other Amenities in the House:
Chrysalis viewing window, living wall
The chrysalis window allows guests to watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalis, offering a deeper understanding of its complete life cycle. The living wall is 220 square feet with 1,650 plants; the wall has been re-homed from the Fort Collins Utilities building at 222 Mason. Horticulturally, design inspiration for the living wall for color and shape is Vincent van Gogh’s, The Starry Night.
The City of Fort Collins, the Gardens on Spring Creek, and Butterfly Pavilion formed a partnership to build and operate a permanent North American butterfly house in Fort Collins. This partnership marks the first of its kind in northern Colorado.
The permanent butterfly house will be part of the Gardens' Visitor’s Center completion and will reside at the Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins. The house will be operated jointly by Butterfly Pavilion and Gardens on Spring Creek. The 1,700 square foot conservatory will house up to 400 free-flying North American butterflies with thousands of blooming flowers. The butterfly house plans to open to the public in 2019.
The Visitor’s Center completion project at The Gardens, which includes the butterfly house, will receive $2 million from the Community Capital Improvement Program, which voters resoundingly passed in 2015. The total project cost of the Visitor’s Center completion, which includes a conservatory and butterfly house, is $3 million. Of this total, $1 million remains to be raised.
“This is a monumental day for the Gardens on Spring Creek. We have been working together with Butterfly Pavilion for over two years, and this signing today will directly amplify our mission to enrich the lives of people while fostering environmental stewardship through horticulture,” said Michelle Provaznik, Executive Director, Gardens on Spring Creek.
“Butterfly Pavilion creates one of a kind, irreplaceable experiences for our visitors. We make memories that last a lifetime, and provide opportunities for every guest to make an intimate connection with our natural world. We are thrilled to be expanding our efforts in northern Colorado with Gardens on Spring Creek,” said Patrick Tennyson, President and CEO, Butterfly Pavilion. “Michelle and her team do amazing work, and it’s a privilege to be teaming up with them.”
In addition to the butterfly house, the Visitor’s Center completion in 2019 includes a conservatory (year-round green space), expanded community meeting room, offices, and a larger visitor-friendly lobby.