MEDICINE PARK, Okla. (KFOR) – The Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center will open its new Butterfly House exhibit Saturday morning.

The exhibit – sponsored by the Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust – will feature species native to Oklahoma, including the monarch which has just recently been added to an endangered species list by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We are very excited to be bringing this exhibit to completion,” said Rainette Rowland, Executive Director. “The Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust has been an incredible supporter of this facility from the very beginning with sponsorship of the botanical gardens as well as the Butterfly House. We are so grateful for their support.”

Rowland says visitors will be able to view metamorphosis in various stages as larvae and pupae develop in a small enclosure within the Butterfly House.

Courtesy: Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center

The Metamorphosis House will be opened daily to release any butterflies that have emerged from the chrysalis into the exhibit where they can fly freely and feed on flowering plants and nectar sticks.

Feeding sticks will also be available for purchase, enabling visitors to feed the butterflies nectar and get a close view.

Featured species include monarch, black swallowtail, American lady, painted lady, gulf fritillary, red admiral, and mourning cloak.

The exhibit will be seasonal, open from Spring through end of October.

“This exhibit is great fun, but it’s also a really important learning experience. Pollinators are so vital to the overall ecosystem, “ said Nicole Brown, Deputy Director. “Helping the public, especially kids, engage with these little creatures and stop to think about their role on the planet is what this is all about.”

A ribbon cutting for this new pollinator incubator will occur at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, August 20.

“The Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust is very proud to be a part of the Aquarium and looking forward to the long- awaited opening of the Butterfly House, said Janice Bell. “I personally, am truly looking forward to seeing it.”

Medicine Park Aquarium and Natural Sciences Center is open Monday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.