After 21 years in Navarre Park, the Panhandle Butterfly House lost its home to park renovation. And then a new opportunity arose! The Panhandle Butterfly House is relocating to a beautiful 10-acre wooded property with a restored historic home in the quaint town of Milton, Florida.
With your help a bigger and better Panhandle Butterfly House and Nature Center will connect even more visitors, schoolchildren and tourists with the fascinating world of Florida’s native butterflies. This allows visitors to learn about butterflies they encounter outside and how to encourage them in their own landscapes. We will continue to enhance environmental awareness and preservation through engaging people with one of nature’s most beautiful creatures in a natural setting.
Let us share our vision:
· 1800 square foot butterfly enclosure filled with live native butterflies in all life stages from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult
· Historic home with butterfly and pollinator exhibits and classroom
· Peaceful garden courtyard with seating
· Themed botanical gardens: Pollinator Garden, Camellia Garden, Rain Garden
· Interpretative nature trails through the woods
· Outdoor Pavilion for events and workshops
· Gift Shop & Café
Growth on all fronts is our goal! In the past, we reached about 14,000 visitors a year but plan to reach many more people by expanding our season from 4 months to all year. With more space, our workshops on butterflies, plant propagation, native plants, wildlife and other topics can also be expanded.
Children are drawn to learning about butterflies and this is a gateway to engage them in science for the long haul. Local schoolteachers and homeschool groups clamor for field trip dates as our tours are fun, interactive and they meet Florida Sunshine State Standards. We have a plan to offer more school field trips! Private tours for adult groups have always been popular, too!
Our annual Monarch Madness event brings over 2,000 people into intimate contact with one of the world’s most remarkable natural events each fall – the migration of monarch butterflies from the United States and southern Canada all the way to Mexico to overwinter. When visitors become familiar with this wonder it enhances their appreciation for preserving the monarch butterfly and the environment on which they depend.
We already have close to $100,000 from donations, sales and our savings. But we need another $400,000 to complete phase one and get us operational: purchasing the property and constructing the butterfly enclosure, gardens, pavilion and parking. In phase two a new learning center will be built at an estimated cost of $350,000.
The Panhandle Butterfly House is a joint program of Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful and University of Florida IFAS Extension. Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and governs the finances and overall operation of the Panhandle Butterfly House. The University of Florida IFAS Extension oversees all horticulture, butterfly biology, educational programs and volunteers.
We are reaching out to our fans in the local community and across the country to help us rebuild the Panhandle Butterfly House. Any donation will help make our new place a reality even sooner so visitors can once again experience the wonder of nature and butterflies. Thank you so much for caring and your contributions! Come visit when we reopen!