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Desert Botanical Garden receives grant for new butterfly pavilion

Staff ~ 4/1/2015

PHOENIX – The APS Foundation has presented a $250,000 leadership grant to the Desert Botanical Garden to build a new butterfly pavilion. Tammy McLeod, Vice President, Energy Resource Management at Arizona Public Service, presented the check to Ken Schutz, the Garden’s Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director, in a ceremony held in the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, home to the Spring Butterfly Exhibit. 

After the check was presented, attendees including APS and Desert Botanical Garden employees and their families released 700 North American butterflies into the pavilion. The current Spring Butterfly Exhibit will be the final exhibit in the 11 year old Marshall Butterfly Pavilion. The 2015 Spring Butterfly Exhibit will close on Sunday, May 10.

The Garden will open a new seasonal butterfly exhibit spring of 2017. The new butterfly exhibit will expand educational opportunities by incorporating a caterpillar nursery and an emergence chamber to let visitors view all stages of the butterfly lifecycle.  The exhibit will engage more students in STEM-based educational activities at the Garden, and will inspire people of all ages to learn about, appreciate, and protect butterflies.

The proposed relocation of the new exhibit will be near the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Trail. Placement near the Wildflower Trail provides a thematic link to the story of plant pollinators, and the expanded facility will feature significant educational displays about the butterfly life cycle, pollination, and how to create a butterfly-friendly garden. The new “Butterfly Landing” will also provide welcoming activity spaces for children, families and special event audiences.

“This is the final season to see the butterflies in this exhibit.  When we reopen in the brand new exhibit space in 2017, it will be in a new location with a great new design,” said Ken Schutz, the Dr. William Huizingh Excecutive Director. “We are so grateful to APS Foundation for their leadership gift to make it possible.”

The new pavilion is part of the Garden’s strategic plan, The Saguaro Initiative, to renew exhibits and expand educational opportunities.

The Desert Botanical Garden is a living museum featuring more than 50,000 plants from deserts across the world, including many rare, threatened, and endangered species. The Desert Botanical Garden is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation, and research. For more information about the Garden, visit