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Take a stroll through the Butterfly Garden at Woodland Park Zoo

The enclosure is home to hundreds of North American butterflies and plant species. Sponsored by Woodland Park Zoo

SEATTLE — Molbak’s Butterfly Garden at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is welcoming visitors for the second straight year after being closed for two years due to COVID-19.

The enclosure is home to hundreds of North American butterflies and plant species.

Classical music plays on speakers as visitors make their way along the path, encountering free-flying butterflies at every turn.

"With the classical music, and it's bright — the plants and butterflies just seem to glow,” said zookeeper Sue Andersen. "This is the most wonderful place in the world to be right now."

In the time since 2020, the zoo has added new foliage and butterflies to the exhibit. Visitors can see them in their pupa stage, hanging inside an enclosure — and beside it, newly-emerged butterflies wait for their wings to dry on what’s called the “drying tree.”

“It’s one of the places I like to come to refresh my spirit,” Andersen said. "Right now, with so many people having such a hard time in their life, this to me is a very, very special place."

It's also a place where people learn. Specifically, that butterflies aren't just beautiful — they're a critical part of our existence.

"There's sort of a hidden benefit to butterflies that people don't usually think about,” Andersen said. "Butterflies are great pollinators. There are estimates that at least 80% of our diet comes from pollinated plants."

She hopes everyone who strolls through this garden leaves with a different perspective, and a sense of peace.

"It's a magical place,” Andersen said.

Molbak’s Butterfly Garden is free to visit with the cost of zoo admission and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. until Monday, Sept. 5th.

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