The Butterfly Estates in Fort Myers, FL is striving towards making a positive difference in our environment as we face habitat loss, increasing species extinction, and the harmful effects of pollution. They believe that the fragile condition of butterflies and their state of well-being serve as warnings of an unhealthy environment. The Butterfly Estates partners with earth-friendly organizations and is involved with providing public awareness about our environment and ways to make more sustainable choices.
The Butterfly Estates is helping in the effort of preserving native butterflies in South Florida. One of the ways they promote butterfly awareness is by providing an educational butterfly guide (link below) for teachers to use when leading school excursions through the conservatory. The Butterfly Estates encourage visitors to start their own backyard butterfly garden and hope that their garden design will help visitors when planning their garden. Many of the butterfly host and nectar plants are labeled to provide easy identification.
The Butterfly Estates Teachers’ Guide:
In the lobby, developing larva are displayed for children and adults to observe. You can even take time to experience a butterfly release at the conservatory. Special events are held in the conservatory with an appointment. More information can be found on their website. http://thebutterflyestates.com
The amount of butterflies present in the conservatory tends to change with the seasons and food availability. They raise about ten different common species native to South Florida. Butterfly favorites such as the Monarch and Queen gracefully land on exotic nectar plants as classical music plays in the background. It comes to no surprise that they find a thrill in dancing to the soft music which adds a special touch to the peaceful surroundings. Cascading waterfalls and relaxing benches add to the tranquility.
The 3,614 square foot glass conservatory has become the perfect habitat for the developing Queen caterpillar and chrysalis above.
Exotic flowers are not shy when it comes to displaying their vibrant colors! Oranges, reds, pinks, and whites all work together to fill the conservatory with a host of colors.
The garden outside is just as pleasant. Visitors can enjoy Florida’s warm weather as they relax on a bench or stop by the southern style veranda restaurant. The butterfly conservatory has multiple attractions such as the Flutterby’s Cafe’, Mother Nature’s gift shop, Caterpillars Ice Cream Shop, and Fudge Factory.
The Fudge Factory and Caterpillars Ice Cream Shop are both delicious homemade treats. We jumped on the opportunity when offered a free sample of fudge!
Our last stop was the Mother Nature’s gift shop which sells a variety of items including framed art (with butterflies of course!), winged jewelry, and butterfly displays. This was a great conclusion to our visit to The Butterfly Estates.