Welcome!

Thanks for stopping by to learn about the exciting transformation happening at Thanksgiving Point, the Butterfly Biosphere. This world-class facility will include a 9,000-square foot conservatory filled with thousands of free-flying butterflies from around the world.

But Butterfly Biosphere won’t just be home to thousands of colorful live butterflies. Butterfly Biosphere will also be an interactive invertebrate zoo with thousands of animals from all over the world. You’ll hold tarantulas, watch a bustling bumble bee hive, test your strength against dung beetles, and explore the rainforest canopy of Costa Rica. It will be among the finest experiences available in the world, and your support helps make it possible.

There is still time to be part of this exciting project. The guiding principle of Butterfly Biosphere is that insects are small, but significant. Over $30 million dollars have been raised, thousands of which were small (but significant) personal donations. Depending on the level of your gift, your family or business will be recognized as a donor to the Butterfly Biosphere. Click HERE to donate.

 

October 6

Our Garden Maintenance and volunteer heroes have worked together with the construction crew to get the space full of plants and all cleaned up before the butterflies move in next month.

October 14

This cross section of a lawn slice leads to the Invertebrate Adventures gallery - and it's almost completed!

October 20

The Costa Rica Climber has its colorfully cool railings in place and the scientists’ living and research huts are being outfitted.

September 16

That’s the future waterfall and pond! Our friends at Western Architectural first sculpted the foam and then covered it with concrete and sculpted it into this gorgeous natural rock feature. Next, they will paint it to look even more realistic! They worked closely with our horticulture team to create places where plants and trees can be planted within the rock.

September 21

This week was our USDA inspection. We have to have the USDA issue permits for our facility in order to be able to raise and display exotic insects. Getting the biosphere complete enough for the inspection was no small task, and every person involved has been working extra hours for weeks to pull it off. We now have 60 cubic yards of soil, with another 140 plus the first rounds of plants going in next week.

September 30

We passed our USDA inspection and received our permits, which means we can start getting insects and establishing the colonies we need to have a great display. The horticulture team is excited because they started planting the Conservatory. Here's the first tree that went in on Wednesday! Since then, they have been busy bees getting as much planted as possible before it gets too cold outside.

August 18

The pathways through the Conservatory are being prepped for concrete and will be poured next week. You can now see the underlying structure for the rock work and planted areas you will walk through. Stairs are coming along and the Emergence Gallery is framed for glass.

August 25

This week, the concrete path leading from the Conservatory vestibule to the ground level was poured, textured, and colored, and it looks beautiful! The ground level is prepped for concrete, which will be completed on Wednesday. You can see where the planted areas will be along the path, transforming this space into a lush, flower-filled wonderland.

August 31

Just like our contributions, this wall is made up of thousands of 'small but significant' tiles. This is amazing tile wall is located near the lobby restrooms.

July 14

Power and systems have been completed and start up on all features and functions should being early next week. Large and small fans designed to circulate air throughout the Conservatory have been installed to keep the temperatures and humidity levels consistent for butterflies and humans!

July 20

Average July humidity in Lehi is 22%, but right now it is 76% humidity in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, where blue morpho butterflies reside. Solution - Misters! They pump out so much water that you can feel the temperature and humidity change as you walk in the front doors of the building.

August 3

The USDA will be inspecting the building to ensure it/we can contain the butterflies in mid-September. To ensure that the building is ready, the construction crew has been working to get everything done that relates to containment by then. In the Conservatory, mountains of geofoam are being placed and cut to form the base for the ramp, stairs, waterfall, and “cliff”.

June 8

Carving of the Costa Rica Climber cave and trees has started. Artists from Western Architectural Services (the same folks that brought you the monkey head and red rock at the Museum of Natural Curiosity) are creating these elements by hand and it is looking really great.

June 15

This little visitor actually is actually a great example of why we are building the conservatory the way that we are: hard to get in and out of (for insects). The double-door vestibule system, the air curtains, the metal screens on all drains and vents, the expanding foam in the outlets, etc., are all there to ensure that our display animals stay inside the facility and don’t escape to the outside.

June 29

Most of this week's progress is happening on the Costa Rica Climber, where the Western Architectural team is busy transforming fiber reinforced concrete into trees and caves - plus more staircase additions!

May 11

This week we've framed the Costa Rica Climber treehouses and the cave! This cave will even be enjoyable for kids who use wheelchairs. They have also framed the scientist’s Lab and Living Hut treehouses.

May 18

This week saw the installation of a substantial, retractable shade cloth in the way-up-high of the Conservatory to keep the butterflies and the humans happy when the sun has other ideas. We will also have a misting system to maintain the humidity and keep the temperature perfect.

May 30

A spectacular view awaits our guests as they enter the building through the new entrance. The view into the conservatory is incredible, so much thought was put into greeting our guests with a full view through the Discovery Zone, into the conservatory and the Costa Rica Climber. Adventure awaits!

April 6

During this past week, there was a lot of progress made on the Costa Rica Climber. This is the area that used to be the tropical atrium. Platforms for the treehouse have been built and staircases are being created. This area is a space for playful learning and activity. The kids who helped us with the design wanted tree houses where they could pretend to be scientists living in the jungle, researching insects.

April 24

The roof of the Conservatory is completely glazed now, and the rest of the glass will go in quickly. You can see the glass here, as well as the new metal roof that connects the 2 buildings.

May 4

The inside of the venue is taking on a finished feel. Many walls are painted and the drywall that will cover the ceiling guts will be going in soon.  Existing columns inside are being prepped to receive the same beautiful wood beams.

March 8

The metal structure is going up and glass will be installed in a couple of weeks. The restrooms inside are framed (bathrooms are the most important part of any building!) and painting inside the Discovery Zone and upstairs offices starts on Monday.

March 15

The Conservatory is nearly formed and the glass starts going in next week!

March 31

Glass is starting to be installed in the roof of conservatory, and it is hard to overemphasize just how massive and magnificent the space is. Now imagine over a thousand butterflies from many different species flying through the air, chasing each other, landing on flowers to drink nectar, and stopping to rest on the head or shoulder of a guest. 

January 26

The Costa Rica Climber base is being created, the classroom, offices, and labs in the basement are framed, and the concrete forms are coming down, revealing actual walls!

February 14

This week the concrete walls are in place and ready for the glass portion of the Conservatory to begin being assembled starting next week! 

The exhibits are in production and the giant carved caterpillar has been joined by a giant chrysalis that will hang from an equally giant leaf. Both are in the clay stage, from which the mold for the final fiberglass sculpture will be created. The butterfly depositing eggs under a leaf is starting to take shape now and all three together will be awesome in the Discovery Zone!

March 1

The Conservatory walls are all poured (the last concrete forms were just now removed!) and ready for the metal and glass that will create this huge greenhouse. In fact, the metal structure is being assembled right now on the parking lot west of Holdman Studios and will be hoisted into place and bolted to the concrete soon.

September 11

The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Butterfly Biosphere ended up being more of a 'skybreaking!' With a traditional dance from the Nebo Eagle Dancers, and a butterfly release helped by those in attendance, it was a significant beginning for the Butterfly Biosphere.

December 14

Today, in construction history, the first concrete was poured for the Butterfly Biosphere! This kicks off the construction phase of the project and over the next couple of months the new glass conservatory will begin to take shape.

 Fun fact: The tropical and flowering plants for the butterfly conservatory are being grown now (mostly in Florida) from tiny baby plants so that we can have pesticide free horticulture for our new butterfly “team members”.

January 22

Conservatory foundation walls are going up! These are the bottom half of the structure and will be the basis for glass panes that make up the top half.

Be in the know!

Stay updated and subscribe to receive all the latest information about Thanksgiving Point.

* Indicates required field