×
×
homepage logo

Thanksgiving Point breaks ground on new butterfly biosphere

By Shelby Slade daily Herald - | Sep 13, 2017
1 / 4

Students look at a butterfly at the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Biosphere groundbreaking on Monday, Sept. 11.

2 / 4

A member of the Nebo Eagle Dancers performs a fancy shawl butterfly dance at the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Biosphere groundbreaking on Monday, Sept. 11.

3 / 4

Students look at a butterfly at the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Biosphere groundbreaking on Monday, Sept. 11.

4 / 4

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks at the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Biosphere groundbreaking on Monday, Sept. 11.

Butterflies floated above and through Thanksgiving Point on Monday as a sign of things to come.

The family-friendly learning venue in Lehi held a groundbreaking and butterfly release for the Butterfly Biosphere, which will be its newest exhibit and will give visitors a hands-on opportunity to learn about insects and butterflies.

“We believe we’ve got another incredible experience coming to Thanksgiving Point,” said Thanksgiving Point President and CEO Mike Washburn during the ceremony.

The Butterfly Biosphere is set to open next year and will allow visitors to learn about life sciences, bio sciences and insects in an up close and personal way.

The venue will be about 33,000 square feet and will be housed in the former Emporium building. It will also include a roughly 10,000-square-foot greenhouse that houses several thousand butterflies year round in a warm, humid environment with waterfalls and many flowering plants, Washburn said.

“Butterflies are all about art and science. They are the perfect gateway insect into the insect world,” Washburn said.

He said Thanksgiving Point has become what it is now because of the ability many had to see the potential in the idea and its future.

“That’s the word that keeps coming to me as I think about Thanksgiving Point and these opportunities,” Washburn said. “The potential for young people to come and have these experiences that will help them understand who they are and what their potential is and what they are good at and what they like and what they are interested in.”

Gov. Gary Herbert said he is excited to see the Butterfly Biosphere as it continues to take shape and to watch the ongoing growth at Thanksgiving Point and the surrounding parts of Lehi.

“As we see what has happened here, this area is called Silicon Slopes,” Herbert said during the groundbreaking. “I can tell you unequivocally that would not have happened, certainly to the extent which it happened, without Thanksgiving Point being here in place first.”

Thanksgiving Point played a major role in the metamorphosis of the northern part of Lehi, facilitated many important partnerships and brought so many to the area, he said.

“The Butterfly Biosphere is just going to be another addition to that as we have an opportunity to enjoy another learning experience for our young people, for all of us,” Herbert said.

Lehi Mayor Bert Wilson was also present at the groundbreaking. He said Thanksgiving Point brings so much to the city that many, himself included, might not have expected to come out of Lehi.

“I appreciate Thanksgiving Point and it’s going to be a place of study and a place of learning,” Wilson said. “Who would have thought we would have seen the study of bugs and butterflies come to a place like this in Lehi?”

Newsletter

Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)