It started small. The idea hatched in Evelyn E. Newman’s mind in 1993. Five short years later, the Butterfly House opened to the public at Faust Park in Chesterfield, Missouri, and visitors were introduced to the beauty and ecological importance of butterflies in a setting like no other.
Shortly after opening its doors, the Butterfly House became one of St. Louis’s top destinations and premiere butterfly houses in the nation. In 2001, it became a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The years passed, and the Butterfly House grew. Its educational programs and special events expanded to the delight of the more than 130,000 people that visit each year. The animal exhibits also grew to include other insects and arthropods, highlighting the important role that these creatures play in keeping ecosystems healthy. In 2015, the Butterfly House led the efforts to launch Project Pollinator to promote the appreciation of pollinators through education programs and the creation of pollinator gardens across our community.
Today, the Butterfly House is one of the only two dedicated insectariums in the country accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as a leader in butterfly conservation. Looking ahead, the Butterfly House will update and double the size of the Entomology Lab to include interactive interpretation of a butterfly’s life cycle, “meet the keeper” opportunities, and new habitats for the invertebrate collection.
To celebrate the past and look toward the future, we’re spending the summer counting down 20 of our favorite things that make the Butterfly House a unique destination in the St. Louis area.
Find inspiration for planting your own butterfly garden
Pay a visit to the Butterfly House’s “backyard” demonstration garden and explore some of the beautiful butterfly-attracting plants you can add to your own home landscape.
Enjoy free admission as a Garden member
In appreciation of their support, members receive a full year of free general admission to the Butterfly House, Garden and Shaw Nature Reserve. Become a member today!
Witness the butterfly’s life cycle
From chrysalis to colorful flight, all of the fascinating stages of butterflies’ lives are on display for your delight at the Butterfly House.
Check back next week as our list grows.
June 23, 2018
Join us for a toast to 20 years of the Butterfly House at a Roaring Twenties-themed celebration. Proceeds will support future enhancements, including a new entomology lab. Learn more