Seneca Park Zoo

Seneca Park Zoo in New York is raising awareness about butterflies in a nine county region. In 2002, the zoo launched a Butterfly Beltway program to encourage butterfly gardens that would support the migrating monarch. Over the past three years, the zoo has established butterfly gardens at 20 retirement communities and assisted living centers with the help of corporate sponsorships or grants. Zoo staff returns to the gardens each year to maintain them. Zoo staff also does a tagged monarch butterfly release at each facility. This year the zoo will release 200 to 300 tagged monarchs at the different facilities.

The zoo is also promoting butterfly gardening on zoo grounds. Opening soon is the Chase-Pitkin Butterfly Experience, a walk-through exhibit with approximately eight native butterfly species. The exhibit will include a butterfly garden complete with host and nectar plants and two interactive computer touch screens with information on species-specific host and nectar plants, a chrysalis chamber, and caterpillar covered plant. The zoo will release approximately 300 additional tagged monarchs from zoo grounds as part of their education efforts.