Free-guided tours of the the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House at Rotary Park in Cape Coral are available to the public on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. The Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife are welcoming visitors, and knowledgeable volunteers will guide tours and provide an educational overview about butterflies. The volunteer guides provide details about the life stages as they pass from egg to caterpillar and the full metamorphoses into an adult butterfly; how to identify the species of butterfly; and dangers to butterflies. The guides will answer questions, and let you know what to plant to attract butterflies to your yard and neighborhood. Butterflies are released into the surrounding gardens as soon as eggs are laid and there are plenty of caterpillars.
Inside the butterfly house, the foliage is lush and colorful with blooming plants that furnish nectar to feed the adult butterflies, enabling the spread of pollen as they flit from flower to flower. As they visit each flower, they pollinate them. The guides explain that they only lay eggs upon host plants specific to the butterfly species. Because Florida remains warm and has milkweed available all year, the local population of monarch butterflies doesn’t migrate to Mexico. In addition to providing education and serving as a resource for butterfly and gardening advice, the volunteer guides of the butterfly house also take part in university research studies.
Be sure to visit when it’s warm, so the butterflies are active. The tours at the Tom Allen Memorial Butterfly House are free, and run 10:30 AM-Noon Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Rotary Park located at 5505 Rose Garden Road in Cape Coral. The Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife accepts donations to help with caring for the butterflies and maintaining the butterfly house. The Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife is dedicated to protection, preservation and education, and donated the butterfly house at Rotary Park to the park. The house protects native butterflies from predators as they transform from eggs to beautiful butterfly. Volunteers built the butterfly house; many also have volunteered their time, plants, pots and supplies.