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Learning about nature: 5 great places to find butterflies

They are beautiful to observe. They glide through the air in their vibrant colors. They spread their wings in a majestic dance with the wind. Of course, butterflies are great creatures of nature that is more than a science lesson.

William Wordsworth once said “To a Butterfly”:

“Much converse do I find in thee, Float near me; do not yet depart! Dead times revive thee: Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art! A solemn image to my heart.”

And yet, where can one find these amazing insects of nature. Although there are many butterfly gardens or houses, here are five great places where butterfly enthusiasts can observe these amazing colorful insects.

1.  Missouri Botanical Garden

This is a great place to teach children about the natural facts of butterflies, how to take care of them, what they need to flourish, and many other educational activities. Located in Chesterfield, Missouri, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House is a natural sanctuary for many butterfly species. They also offer educational classes on how to plant a butterfly garden at home and the essentials to take care of them. Also, visit the butterfly school to learn more detailed information about butterflies, which is geared towards teachers.

2.  Desert Connections

Part of the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Public Library, this environmental organization located in Tucson, Arizona protects the natural wildflowers, butterflies, and birds of the area. In particular, butterfly sightings can be found in local butterfly gardens, The Butterfly Garden, town of Patagonia, the Garden Canyon in Huachuca Mountains, Mt. Lemmon, and Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. This site also offers great suggestions on the time of day and year to spot certain butterflies. It also has great educational resources.

3.  Big Sur California

This is a high concentrated area to find Monarch butterflies, especially in October. As a matter of fact, the Andrew Molera State Park is the best place to spot butterflies. These beautiful orange and black butterflies make the journey every year to warmer climates, especially to areas like Mexico and Florida.

4.  NABA Sarasota County Butterfly Club

This amazing organization has a comprehensive list of butterfly sightings in all local areas of Florida. With more than 10 butterfly gardens and house, it is no surprise that butterflies are the most common in these areas. This Florida Chapter is part of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and offers tips on butterfly care, gardening, and other great educational resources.

5.  Hallberg Butterfly Gardens

Located at the Sonoma County, this butterfly refuge was founded by Louise Hallberg to promote the education of butterflies to all enthusiasts. In this site, educators can find numerous resources about plants butterflies like, how to take care of them, and many other useful resources.

Whether educators are looking for the perfect field trip or parents need a great family event, visiting local butterfly gardens or sanctuaries is a great opportunity to learn more about these amazing insects.

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

2 Comments

  1. Becky Jane on at

    While my granddaughter was here, we had fun with some online butterfly activities. She’s only 20 months old and loves butterflies. Utah used to have a butterfly house, but I think it’s not there anymore.



    • Barbara Mascareno on at

      I’m so glad you had a great time playing with your granddaughter; it’s those moments that are so great to remember. Too bad that butterfly house is not there anymore, maybe you need to raise your own butterflies – that would be awesome.



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