Water Conservation Garden announces opening of new butterfly pavilion this summer
Preparations for the construction of a 600-square-foot butterfly pavilion at The Water Conservation Garden commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony held on March 6 at 10 a.m.
According to Elizabeth Ramos, director of marketing and events for The Water Conservation Garden, “The pavilion, which will be the first of its kind in East County, is scheduled to open to the public this summer.”
“The model butterfly ecosystem, which will remain a permanent exhibit at the garden, will offer interactive educational opportunities for thousands of children and adults annually, helping them learn about plant and animal relationships, and how they can nurture and observe them in their personal gardens,” added Ramos.
“Many species of butterflies are endangered and this exhibit will help, as it will feature hundreds of butterflies of at least six species, all native to San Diego County and the Southern California region, including the dogface, cloudless sulphur, anise swallowtail, gulf fritillary, mourning cloak and monarch,” said Pam Meisner, education director at The Water Conservation Garden, who is also known as Ms. Smarty-Plants™.
Funding for the pavilion comes from a $140,000 memorial gift from the family of the late Dorcas E. Utter, beloved volunteer of both The Water Conservation Garden and nearby Ornamental Horticulture Department at Cuyamaca College.
Brad Monroe, recently retired program coordinator for the Ornamental Horticulture Department who worked extensively with Dorcas for many years, spoke about the history of Dorcas’s wish for a butterfly pavilion, and the cooperative effort between the garden, Cuyamaca College and Dorcas’s family to bring about this new exhibit.
Opened in 1999, the garden is dedicated to promoting water conservation in the Southern California landscape through exhibits and programs that educate and inspire the public. In addition, the garden is supported by memberships, donations, grants and water agency support.
The Water Conservation Garden is located at 12122 Cuyamaca College Drive West in El Cajon.
For information, visit www.thegarden.org, or call (619) 660-0614, ext. 10.