Completing its own metamorphosis, a new and improved Butterfly Pavilion has opened at the Natural History Museum, delighting visitors of all ages.
“The Butterfly Pavilion is an important way to deliver on an idea that’s important to me and to the Museum – the idea of introducing nature and its stewardship in a fun way,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said during opening day ceremonies.
Located on the south side of the museum, the permanent structure is larger and airier than the outdoor exhibits in previous years . The enclosed habitat has hundreds of butterflies, their colorful wings fluttering above flowers laden with nectar. Some butterflies even alight on visitors, usually those wearing colorful outfits and hats.
Museum staff are on hand to point out monarchs, queens, malachites, mourning cloaks, grey crackers and buckeyes, as well as caterpillars and chrysalises. They can also provide information about metamorphosis and butterfly anatomy.
“The Pavilion is an important part of the museum’s approach to city nature,”said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, NHM President and Director. “It was the first living habitat we had, and as we began to shift to an indoor / outdoor museum, we used a lot of the lessons we learned.”
She added, “We wanted a place that was relaxing and fun, but that also had science at its core – science we could deliver in accessible, friendly ways, to people of all ages and backgrounds, no matter what they thought about nature.”
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said the Butterfly Pavilion is the latest landmark in a place already teeming with them.
“Exposition Park is the heart of the Second District and I am proud that it is the center of culture, science, education, sports, and economic development in our County,” he said. “It’s an honor to be here on the opening day of the Butterfly Pavilion, which joins USC, the Coliseum, the Space Shuttle, the Rose Garden, the Rams and the new home of the LA Football Club, among Exposition Park’s iconic destinations.”