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Denver botanic gardens at chatfield adds butterfly pavilion – the denver post

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With all of its plant life, the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a natural attraction for butterflies, but the facility is taking it one step further this summer.

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A new butterfly pavilion is now open at the gardens and will house 100-150 butterflies at a time. All butterflies will be native to Colorado as will plant life.

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“Colorado is a hotspot for diversity of butterflies because of different habitats from the plains to the foothills to the mountains. It’s a great addition to all our other offerings here,” Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield director Larry Vickerman said.

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The Botanic Gardens partnered with the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster to make this new locale happen. It’s the Butterfly Pavilion’s first-ever venture outside of Westminster.

The strictly native focus of the Chatfield location is also a first.

“We wanted to create something new and something different for the metro area,” Butterfly Pavilion vice president of science and conservation Mary Ann Hamilton said. “We’ve been in Westminster for 19 years and we’ve never had a native house in the metro area or the state.”

The pavilion is right next to the main parking lot for the gardens. Depending on weather, it will be open throughout the summer and into the early fall. Hamilton said organizers hope to have it open until early October. Since the pavilion will not be temperature controlled, it will have to close when the plants freeze and the butterflies have nothing left to eat.

The 1,600-square-foot structure was built by the Butterfly Pavilion while Denver Botanic Gardens planted the garden with about 50 different species of plants. Hamilton said Chatfield was an ideal location.

“Chatfield has a tremendous amount of space and farther reach south than we’ve had,” she said.

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