From late spring to early fall, visitors to the Assiniboine Park Zoo can enter the magical world of butterflies at the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden.
Located next door to the new Toucan Ridge exhibit, the seasonal exhibit is stocked each spring with native butterfly species including monarchs and painted ladies. Sub-tropical species are introduced later in the summer.
The Garden is housed in two 2000 square foot quonsets with air-locked vestibules for entry and exit at each end. A central area that connects the two quonsets will house a small gift shop and a glassed-in hatchery. The quonsets are covered with a mesh material that allows for an open-air feel, while keeping the butterflies safely inside.
Outside the garden, plantings are designed to attract local butterflies at all stages of their life cycle. Visitors can take part in classroom demonstrations and learn how to plant their own butterfly garden.
Inside, the peaceful, pastoral garden features colourful perennial and annual flowers preferred by adult butterflies, a container garden section, interpretive information, benches and water features.