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Butterfly Pavilion hopes to educate Coloradans while also providing a break from the cold

Butterfly Pavilion
Posted at 9:36 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 01:00:53-05

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — At the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, a lush jungle beckons its latest visitors from far off lands- lands a little further than Aurora.

"They come from exciting locations from all over the world- Philippines, Malaysia, Suriname, El Salvador and many other places," said Shiran Hershcovich, a lepidopterist manager with the Butterfly Pavilion

This slice of Heaven is home to a lot of butterflies.

“One hundred... or maybe a bit more than 100," said one child.

The real number is a bit more than that.

“At any given moment, you may encounter more than 2,000 tropical butterflies," said Hershcovich.

With inside temperatures approaching 90 degrees on some chilly days, this place is where you can shake off the chill.

“You’re immediately immersed in our tropical rain forest," said Hershcovich. "Especially in Colorado in the winter, you don’t see as much green as you see in here.”

You also walk away from the Butterfly Pavilion with a fun fact or two.

"Our goal here revolves around teaching people how important [butterflies] are and making a connection with a group of animals they may not always appreciate and helping foster that appreciation,” said Sara Stevens, director of animal collections.

The Butterfly Pavilion has projects that reach far beyond the Rockies.

"Conservation work is happening here in Colorado, but we are also doing that work at a national, as well as a global level," said Stevens.

The facility relies heavily on its volunteers.

“This is only my 25th year," said volunteer Rich Jarboe.

Volunteers help answer questions about butterflies. Jarboe also enjoys the warm weather.

“We got a foot of snow on the ground," he said "It’s literally freezing out there. You come in here, you got butterflies flying around. What more could you ask for?"

It’s hard work keeping this facility going. Yes, it’s a lovely place, but there is a deeper meaning. The Butterfly Pavilion offers a chance to educate and enlighten others while spreading the word to love the planet.

"[It] provides people a respite from the storm," said Dr. Rich Reading, director of research and conservation. "They can come and get warm and learn about the work we do around the world and in Colorado, but we are also really focused on education programs."

It’s a labor of love and passion for these creatures that keeps these butterfly aficionados warm.

"I think it’s the coolest place on earth, so sharing that with everyone is very special," said Hershcovich.

To learn more about the Butterfly Pavilion, click here.