Anita Camacho, Butterfly Conservatory of Tampa Bay’s President and CEO, has been an advocate for organic gardening and respect for nature since she was a young girl. “I have wanted to bring a butterfly conservatory to the Tampa Bay area for many years. After visiting many of them around the world, I felt it was a much-needed asset in our community,” she said. “There’s a lot to do in Tampa Bay, but this is different from other attractions. It will be a peaceful, tranquil place where people of all ages can come to reconnect with nature and learn about the important roles native plants and insects play in our environment.”
In addition to butterflies, the Conservatory will feature revolving exhibits of pollinator-friendly plants as well as bees, reptiles, insects, arthropods, moths and other creatures. Education programs will be offered to members and visitors, tour groups and students.
“I have always been fascinated by the metamorphosis of the butterfly,” said Anita. “It’s amazing to see what the tiny creature undergoes as it begins as a tiny speck of an egg on the underside of a leaf and transforms into a beautiful creature with wings. People view the butterfly as a symbol of endurance, change, beauty, hope and life.
Through education and outreach, our goal is to increase awareness about the importance of pollinators and our natural environment. We aim to inspire people about the ease and joy of natural gardening for homes, businesses, schools, and farms. We intend to work with our city, and neighboring cities, to do the same in the hope of helping to reverse the ongoing destruction of butterfly and pollinator habitats in our local areas by providing a place to experience and understand nature and beauty."