Westminster’s Butterfly Pavilion could consider flying away from its Church Ranch Boulevard location, according to officials there.
The organization, the first invertebrate zoo in the country, is looking to expand its 30,000-square-foot …
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The organization, the first invertebrate zoo in the country, is looking to expand its 30,000-square-foot facility and is in talks with the cities of Broomfield and Westminster and with Adams County about expanding or relocating.
“We are in very collaborative conversations with all of these municipalities, and certainly Westminster,” said MK Wohlenhaus, vice president of marketing and communications for the Butterfly Pavilion.
The company wants to build a new Center for Invertebrate Research. Broomfield’s City Council, at its May 16 meeting, discussed hosting the new center and the pavilion as a part of its North Park plan, a 900-acre mixed-use development west of Interstate 25 and south of Colorado Highway 7.
An expanded zoo pavilion would include larger exhibits, including a bigger butterfly rain forest.
The center would include laboratory and research space focused on invertebrate conservation efforts, especially on those aimed at preserving dragonfly, firefly and Colorado butterflies.
“There has been a lot of dialogue, and we are in those initial stages,” she said. “There has been no commitment made yet.”
Wohlenhaus said the pavilion hopes to complete the expansion within the next five years.
“It all depends on how well negotiations progress with those municipalities,” she said. “There are a lot of moving pieces.”
The goal would be to make it an international hub for research and understanding about insects.
But the move is not a sure thing, according to an organization press release.
“This is an exciting time for Butterfly Pavilion, and we look forward to finalizing our plans within the next few months,” President Patrick Tennyson said in the release.
The Butterfly Pavilion opened its facility on an 11-acre Westminster campus in 1995. It currently hosts an estimated 300,000 guests each year.
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