On Thursday, June 23rd, members of the Board of the Friends of Gardens Manitoba had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden - a seasonal butterfly exhibit located at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Two large adjoining Quonset huts are now home to hundreds of native butterflies and beautiful plants, including pentas, zinnias, coleus, and many others. Visitors will be able to observe butterflies up close as they flit from plant to plant - be prepared for some to land on your shoulder or arm! It's an amazing, delightful experience! Stroll through the beautiful butterfly gardens that surround this seasonal exhibit. Please join the Board in extending our congratulations to Shirley Richardson and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy on this exciting new addition to the Assiniboine Park Zoo!
The Friends were pleased to be acknowledged during the opening ceremonies for their many years of fundraising for a permanent exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Conservatory. We would like to share with you the recent announcement by the Conservancy that the newly opened Butterfly Garden will serve as the launching pad for a permanent exhibit that will be a part of the new Conservatory once it is built.
Construction on a new Conservatory is expected to commence as early as 2013- 2015. Imagine the sight of hundreds of free-floating tropical butterflies, some as big as your hand! We look forward to working in partnership with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy on this long-awaited initiative.
Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden at Assiniboine Park Zoo
See video from American Museum of Natural History exhibit which is open October to May
The announcement by the Assiniboine Park Conservancy of a $180 million Assiniboine Park revitalization will see much needed, exciting changes to a stately park that plays an important role in the lives of Winnipeggers - past, present and future. The park is beautiful, but a close look reveals a worn and tired infrastructure. Much of the media focus has been on the Zoo, as well as the overwhelming majority of public debate. Plans for a new Conservatory, though, are equally exciting. Conservatories play a critical role in the areas of botanical study, conservation and environmental education. The Conservatory's collection of tropical plants and beautiful floral displays that are in bloom year-round are enjoyed by people of all ages and provide an ideal winter escape - accessible to everyone.
On March 21st, 2009, Jim Fox of the Canadian Press reported in the Globe and Mail on the growing number of butterfly conservatories across Canada, attracting tens of thousands of visitors annually. Manitobans would have to go outside of the province to visit one. Imagine, on a cold February day, stepping into the humid, tropical setting of a new Conservatory and being greeted by the sight of thousands of butterflies floating freely amongst lush blooms and greenery? It is the hope of the Friends of Gardens Manitoba that the new Conservatory will also include a butterfly component and we urge the public to support the creation of such an exciting project.