Many area families have delighted in the experience of visiting the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster and having a lovely creature light on them.
South-metro families can make a shorter trip this summer, as Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and …
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South-metro families can make a shorter trip this summer, as Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield and the Butterfly Pavilion have collaborated on a new seasonal habitat called Butterflies at Chatfield.
The habitat is open now and will continue through early October. It features, in a large tent, hundreds of native Colorado butterflies such as two-tailed swallowtail, monarch, silver-spotted skipper and painted lady.
Species will vary from day to day, with 100 new chrysalides (butterfly pupae in cocoons) arriving each week. Visitors can see them emerging in a custom chrysalis chamber.
More than 50 indigenous plant species will be planted in a special garden to provide a habitat for these blossoms on the wing.
The Butterfly Pavilion describes itself as “a zoo of small wonders.” Invertebrates make up 97 percent of the animal species on our planet and they play a major role in ensuring the health of our environment.
While families are visiting the 750-acre Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, they will want to see the historic farm and explore some of the many hiking paths that illustrate different ecological systems. Birds are plentiful, and there is an old one-room schoolhouse that once served students living nearby. And one finds seasonally changing native plant life of all kinds and assorted native critters.
Originally called Chatfield Arboretum, this wonderful asset was set aside as floodplain by the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1965 flood — meaning it could not be developed. In combination with Chatfield State Park, local residents have access to acres of natural areas close enough to pop in for a few hours' visit and perhaps a picnic.If you go:
Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is located at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, just a short drive south of the intersection of C-470 and South Wadsworth Boulevard. The butterfly exhibit will run until early October, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily — last entry is 4 p.m. A $5 parking fee per vehicle does not include the separate admission ticket required to enter the butterfly house, which costs $6/adult, $5 senior, $4 child, free 2 and under. Botanicgardens.org.
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