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A Metamorphosis for Denver’s Butterfly Pavilion

Here's what we know about the Butterfly Pavilion's expansion plans.

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Butterfly Pavilion is spreading its wings as it announces plans for a 30 million dollar state-of-the-art research facility in Broomfield, about 15 miles from its current campus in Westminster. Complete with an accredited zoological facility, Butterfly Pavilion’s forthcoming Center for Invertebrate Research and Conservation (CIRC) will be a 60,000-square-foot lab and zoo dedicated to integrating research and education while promoting conservation.

More than butterflies, Butterfly Pavilion is the world’s only stand-alone invertebrate zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The organization’s expansion will facilitate everything from breeding and global research to kid-friendly programming.

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“We do amazing research, and our goal is to connect the public to the science, giving them the data they need to understand why invertebrates are so important to human life,” says Russ Pecoraro, Butterfly Pavilion’s VP of marketing and communications.

When it opens in 2021, Butterfly Pavilion at CIRC will be a focal point for a 900-acre “Science City” that’s being created in partnership with Broomfield, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, and the Colorado-based development firm McWHINNEY. This North Park neighborhood project includes plans for a town center, a linear park, the first-of-its-kind “Pollinator District,” and a STEM school, among other amenities. Until Butterfly Pavilion settles into its new digs, Pecoraro says the organization’s lineup of programming, exhibits, services, and events will continue at its nearly 12-acre Westminster site, at 6252 W. 104th Ave.

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