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Hundreds of Butterflies Released in New Butterfly Haven Exhibit at Virginia Living Museum


Newport News, VA (August 1, 2022)  On July 29th, hundreds of butterflies and caterpillars were released into the new Butterfly Haven exhibit, where they will have access to a multitude of native plants that encourage butterflies and other pollinators’ healthy life cycles. The Virginia Living Museum has actively participated in butterfly conservation efforts for over 30 years with efforts such as Monarch SAFE, Monarch Watch, and the NABA Butterfly Count Tag and Release program that allows the Museum to track butterflies for thousands of miles. The Butterfly Haven exhibit will allow guests to be up close and personal with a variety of native butterflies and see them in all stages of life from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly!


Included in this variety of butterflies will be the Monarch, recently declared endangered by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. “It’s the usual suspects: habitat destruction, pesticides, and increased severe weather,” says Senior Director of Living Exhibits, James Weinpress. “These butterflies are expected to migrate thousands of miles and without proper access to the right food in their various stages of life, which makes the migration extremely difficult.”


The Virginia Living Museum encourages gardeners to plant native species which are better suited to our climate and soils, and are more beneficial to our native wildlife species. “Butterflies utilize plants as a food source for their caterpillars,” says Virginia Living Museum Horticulture Curator, Darl Fletcher. “Some are generalist while others are species specific. One example is the relationship between Monarchs and milkweed.” The Virginia Living Museum carries a large collection of butterfly, nectar and host plants that can be purchased daily and at the Native Plant Sale in September.   

The Butterfly Haven exhibit will be open to the public July 30 and will close September 25, 2022.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, plants, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are presented and honored for their ability to connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. An independent 501(c)(3) organization, the Museum is a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and all guests. Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. It is a certified Virginia Green attraction dedicated to environmentally friendly practices. Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A) it is open 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

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