The Missoula Insectarium first opened its doors to the public on June 25, 2015. It is located in downtown Missoula at 218 E. Front Street on the second floor. It costs $4 for guests (ages 4 and older) to take a tour. They are open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 am to 5 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can contact them at 406-317-1211.
Reporter Lindsay Brawner, from ABC Fox Montana Local News, interviewed The Missoula Insectarium Founder and Director Jen Marangelo (see the video below). The Director said they would like for people to gain a better appreciation for the vital role that insects play. Their goal is to educate the public about the fascinating lives of these important creatures through exhibits and educational programs in a family friendly environment.
Wonder how they get their insects? Many insects come from ordering them online or by trading with other insectariums. Other insectariums in the United States include:
- The Audobon Insectarium in New Orleans, Louisiana
- The Bayer Crop Science Insectarium found inside the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, North Carolina
- The Insectarium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- The Insect Zoo found at the SanFrancisco Zoo in California
- The Monsanto Insectarium at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri
The Missoula Insectarium is here for the community, both adults and kids, as well as here as a tourist destination. Insectarian Educational Director Carolyn Wiley runs the classroom aspect. She often witnesses the transformation of students who are initially reluctant to touch the insects who leave as fans. The Missoula Insectarium will provide programs and field trips for school groups, homeschoolers, and other organized groups.
Butterfly houses and insect zoos have proven to be enormously popular with the public wherever they appear and are used to generate increased visitation and revenue for many zoos, museums and other non-profit organizations. Director Jen Marangelo’s next dream is to create a greenhouse filled with butterflies that is large enough for people to walk through and see them. They will receive captive-bred butterflies (actually the chrysalides) from breeders around the world (primarily Central and South America).
In June of 2010 the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium completed a custom-designed business feasibility study to determine if their vision for an insect education facility in Missoula, MT could be viable. Guided by the positive results of the feasibility analysis, their vision for this facility includes:
- A 2,000 square foot tropical butterfly house
- A viewing area to watch the final stage of metamorphosis and see adult butterflies emerge from their chrysalides
- An insect zoo and hands-on exhibits that teach children and adults about invertebrate biology, ecology and conservation
- A classroom for school groups, community programs and special events
- An outdoor pollinator garden and insect-themed playground
- A gift shop and dining area
As a unique resource for our local community, schools, and visitors to Montana, the Missoula Butterfly House & Insectarium will provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn about the fascinating lives of insects and butterflies. By taking advantage of the ever-increasing popularity of these exhibits and by providing a state-of-the-art facility, The Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium will be an educational and recreational resource for the local community as well as visitors to the Missoula area.
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Innkeepers Brady and his wife Elaine (a school teacher) welcome you to stay at their gorgeous Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana. Consider touring The Missoula Insectarium when you visit as guests. Their quiet mountain setting makes the perfect relaxing getaway!
Written by Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging