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The Butterfly Pavilion

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Environment, Forest Conservation, Literacy, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: The mission of the Butterfly Pavilion is to foster an appreciation of butterflies and other invertebrates while educating the public about the need for conservation of threatened habitats in the tropics and around the world. Vision The vision of the Butterfly Pavilion is to be the premier invertebrate education center in the nation.

Target demographics: The Butterfly Pavilion offers hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages, and has educational offerings for children and adults.

Geographic areas served: Denver, Colorado metropolitan area

Programs: Invertebrate zoo and research: we are proud to be the first stand-alone butterfly flight house in the world and only the second invertebrate zoo to be accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums (aza). Aza is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation, and we hold ourselves to the most rigorous professional standards. For nearly two decades we have worked determinedly to forward principles that shape our conservation efforts both locally and globally. At butterfly pavilion, we believe that an appreciation of the environment begins with an appreciation for all living things. Each day we teach the young and old alike about the need for conservation because with knowledge and empowerment we will protect the world's natural habitats for generations to come.

guest experience: butterfly pavilion plays a special role in the community for hundreds of thousands of children and adult lifelong learners throughout our region. In the 19 years butterfly pavilion has been in existence, we have provided nearly 5 million visitors with hands-on educational experiences. Serving over 315,000 guests annually, visitors get their first hands-on encounter with invertebrate life and begin to develop an understanding of the importance of these creatures. Invertebrates are the foundation of every ecological system in which we live, and insects make up over three-quarters of the world's animal species. They are pollinators, decomposers, consumers at many levels, and vital to our very existence. We expose children and adults alike to hands-on, immersive science exploration because we know that with knowledge and empowerment is a greater commitment to protecting our world's natural treasures. Our current exhibits showcase and bring attention to these treasures, creating a safe and memorable way to experience the natural world. Exploring a living rainforest filled with tropical butterflies, or holding a desert tarantula for the first time is perhaps the most unique, memorable, and impactful experience our guests will experience.

education: butterfly pavilion reaches over 115,000 youth including over 50,000 students annually. Each year we serve tens of thousands of children through onsite classroom visits and outreach programs. Butterfly pavilion has become a staple in helping children learn important concepts like ecosystems and food webs, making curricular connections for regional public schools, private schools, and homeschoolers alike. In depth, content-aligned classroom instruction, followed by hands on animal and habitat discoveries are an essential element of colorado's youth education. Our educational programs are designed to develop the minds and increase the understanding of science and nature while engaging students in numerous ways with direct animal and plant interactions.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

As a recent volunteer at the Butterfly Pavilion, I am impressed by the facility, the staff and especially the goals of the organization-to educate the public about invertebrates, especially butterflies, but also the foster an understanding of what the rain forest does for us and how to preserve it. It does this by buying butterfly pupa from many butterfly farms around the world, thereby preventing the rain forest from being destroyed and it presents special exhibits teaching sustainability and how to prevent destruction of the rain forests. I am so impressed by this organization, that after a shift I feel that I should be paying for the privilege of being a volunteer there


Rating: 5

As a volunteer I can give my time where ever I want. I WANT to give it to the Butterfly Pavilion. The entire place is a celebration of life. Personally I love the butterfly room. The butterflies with their God given grace and beauty in so fragile a life is wonderous. I love watching the faces of parents watching the faces of their children go wide eyed in wonder. All life is precious. Yes, even the spiders, which I admire and respect from a distance. The Butterfly Pavilion supports, in our little corner of the world, the adage that we all need to do the best we can to preserve life no matter how small and fragile.


Rating: 5

I was a biology/life science teacher in the Jefferson County (Colorado) Public Schools for 33 years and so have had lots of experience with young people. In the Fall of 1997, the year that I retired from Jeffco, I began volunteering at the Butterfly Pavilion and have absolutely loved every minute of this experience. The entire staff is wonderful and the relationship between staff and volunteers cannot be any better than it is. The staff and the volunteers are constantly striving to make the experience for both adults and children at the Butterfly Pavilion one of highest quality. I highly recommend this facility as a Green Choice for people of all ages!


Rating: 5

I live in Westminster and had tried a couple of organizations to volunteer prior to becoming settled at the Butterfly Pavilion. What makes the Butterfly Pavilion special is their exceptional staff and volunteer training programs. Throughout the year classes are offered to deepen and enrich our knowledge base to share with visitors. Staff are always on hand to answer our questions. For me, I just love spending time in the Conservatory enjoying the butterflies and flowers and foliage. I often see visitors entranced with the experience, just sitting and taking it all in. I like to share our conservation message by showing the visitors our many tropical products and relating how they are raised sustainably.

Laura B.


Rating: 5

I love volunteering for the Butterfly Pavilion! I think the staff is wonderful. They are kind, considerate, and flexible towards the needs of their volunteers!

When I first started volunteering in the office there, I felt welcomed by all of the staff and they are always willing to help me with questions or problems that I may have with a tasks that I am trying to complete.

This organization has a strong volunteer program because volunteers can use their skills in a variety of ways such as being trained to work with most of the animals there and to work in the administration office. This is where some of the flexibility comes in.

These are the reasons why I like volunteering for the Butterfly Pavilion.