The late Dorcas Utter (1924-2007) was one of The Garden's most beloved docents. She was an avid nature-lover who gave tours of The Garden with her seeing-eye dog, Sharla, by her side. She created and managed The Garden's first volunteer training program, and most weekends she and Sharla could be found welcoming visitors at The Garden's front entrance.
To provide butterfly and habitat encounters that allow visitors to learn about the importance of butterflies in the ecosystem, their lifecycle, and how humans can help sustain their populations using water-saving plants.
Their delicate beauty and magical metamorphosis capture our imaginations. But, butterflies are much more than just lovely to look at:
Unfortunately, urban sprawl and habitat destruction have caused butterfly populations to decline, with Monarchs being particularly affected. The Garden's Butterfly Pavilion offers an interactive educational experience that teaches people about creating habitats that include butterfly nectar plants and caterpillar host plants.
Click images to expand.
The Dorcas E. Utter Memorial Butterfly Pavilion was made possible through the generosity of:
Dorcas E. Utter Family
William and Norma Verbeck Family
Mountain States Wholesale Nursery
Glass butterfly archway designed and installed by Cherrie La Porte
Please note: May 9 is our annual Butterfly Festival and pavilion admission will be on a first-come, first-serve basis with festival admission.
Butterfly season: May 9 – August 31
Friday-Sunday: OPEN 9am-4pm, beginning May 9th
Group Tours: Thursdays only, by appointment. Contact 619-660-0614 x16 to make an appointment
Admission: Adults $3 (18+), Kids $1 (5-17), Kids under 5 and Garden Members FREE. Tickets may be purchased in the gift shop.