2009-05-22 / Business

Butterflies boost visitor count

Story and Photo by John Temple Ligon thecolumbiastar.com

Pictured are back row (standing) left to right: Kim Cope (teacher), Thomas Pearman, Seth Cannon, Armando Benson, Virginia Rashley, Elizabeth Merritt, Camerom Collars, Lisa Merritt (chaperone)Front Row (sitting) left to right: Brennan Freeman, John Wolfe, India Tyler, Clary Pierce, Brian Robinson, Grace Stephenson, Jim Eckenstein, McKayla Cosimato, Margaret Greene, and Sarah Krawczyk Pictured are back row (standing) left to right: Kim Cope (teacher), Thomas Pearman, Seth Cannon, Armando Benson, Virginia Rashley, Elizabeth Merritt, Camerom Collars, Lisa Merritt (chaperone)Front Row (sitting) left to right: Brennan Freeman, John Wolfe, India Tyler, Clary Pierce, Brian Robinson, Grace Stephenson, Jim Eckenstein, McKayla Cosimato, Margaret Greene, and Sarah Krawczyk There's a new butterflies exhibit at EdVenture Children's Museum. Actually, there are about 500 new butterflies every two to three weeks because most adult butterflies live two to three weeks. Butterflies don't grow. They emerge from the chrysalis full grown.

EdVenture is the only children's museum in the world with an attached butterflies exhibit.

In the Carolinas, there are more than 150 butterfly species, and in North America, there are 700 species. The world has a total of 24,000 known species.

The Blooming Butterflies exhibit at EdVenture opened to the public over Mother's Day weekend. On the previous Thursday, May 7, a group of Satchel Ford second- graders toured the exhibit and posed for pictures while EdVenture held a press conference.

Michael Borden, chairman of the board, thanked the Blooming Butterflies donors: City of Forest Acres, EdVenture's Discovery Channel, Carolina First Bank, ENVIRO-AgScience, Steven & Maria Mungo, and Scott & Mary Boyd.

With hundreds of Monarchs flying about, visitors suggested an appeal to Monarch Food Group and its umbrella corporation, U.S. Food Service, for a donation.

South Carolina's official butterfly is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Butterflies fly best when their body temperatures are 85- 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so the exhibit will close every year in early October and reopen in April.

Admission to Blooming Butterflies is free to EdVenture members and $3 for non- members with standard museum admission. In the 5.5 years since EdVenture opened, 1.2 million visitors have walked through the exhibits.

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