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Arts and Entertainment

Time to Wing It! The NHM's Butterfly Pavilion Opens April 8

butterfly-pavilion-2011.jpg
Photo from inside the Butterfly Pavilion in August 2011 by polaroid-girl via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Nature lovers, science geeks, and families, mark your calendars for April 8, which is when the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) opens up their annual Butterfly Pavilion.

This year the living habitat will be home to 53 butterfly species, including yellow and black giant swallowtails, multi-colored painted ladies, and our state butterfly — the California dogface.

In its 14th year, the Butterfly Pavilion will focus on showing the whole life cycle of the butterfly this time. Perhaps the coolest new inclusion this year, though, is an onsite butterfly-friendly veggie garden where guests can not only learn about how butterflies do their thing, but also how to grow that kind of garden themselves. The NHM explains:

Staff are planting cabbage and bronze fennel — ideal vegetation for winged creatures to lay their eggs. To keep the nectar plants thriving and make the Pavilion even more hospitable to butterflies, the staff uses biological control agents — a natural pest control system — that will help keep marigolds and zinnias and other butterfly-attracting greenery from being gobbled up. In the gardening workshops held outside the Pavilion, visitors will come away with ideas about how to create a butterfly garden in their own backyard or schoolyard.
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Gardening is a major focus at the NHM; they are prepping a large garden on the North Campus for use in 2013, plus, outside the pavilion this spring, guests can take classes from Master Gardener Florence Nishida.

The Butterfly Pavilion is open Sunday, April 8 through Monday, September 3, 2012, and requires a separate admission from regular NHM admission. More from NHM:

Special ticketed admission applies to the Pavilion of Wings: Adults $3; Students and seniors $2; Children 5-12 $1; Museum members and children under 5 are FREE. Tickets are sold in half-hour intervals throughout the day. Tickets can be purchased at any Museum admissions desk or at the Pavilion itself. The Pavilion is open every day of the week from 10 am to 5 pm, with the last tickets sold at 4:30 pm.

Here's a look at last year's Butterfly Pavilion: