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Visitor's Center Hours
Open 9:00am – 5:00pm
8am – Sunset Daily
For-Mar is a pet and smoke-free facility.
The For-Mar Butterfly House was built in 2015 and opened to the public during the summer of 2016. The For-Mar Butterfly house is better described as a ‘butterfly habitat’, a sustainable eco-system, supporting 9 species of Michigan native butterflies and their larvae (caterpillars). Plants have been planted in the Butterfly House that are used by caterpillars for feeding (caterpillar host plants), as well as nectaring plants for butterflies. You may notice a few shallow dishes filled with rocks and water. These are “puddling” areas for butterflies. The butterflies drink the water in order to source needed nutrients.
All phases of the butterfly life cycle, (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly) can be enjoyed by visitors. This is a great location to visit with your school group and children to learn about life cycles in person.
- 30 x 60 Frame with net cover. It is open to the weather and not heated. The net cover must be removed during the winter months to protect it from winds and snow loads.
- 4 foot Permanent plexi-glass side walls and ends were added in 2022 to help with wildlife damage.
The Butterfly House is open to the public at all times during park operating hours Mid May – Mid October. It is located on the south side of the parking lot, along the service drive.
The For-Mar Butterfly House was modeled after Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat at Barson’s Greenhouse in Westland, MI.
Since its opening in 2016, there have been many improvements made throughout the years to learn more about the journey of the Butterfly House please review the project timeline below.
Summer 2015 – House frame purchased. Site selected and tilled. Stone path installed.
Fall 2015 – House frame installed by For-Mar staff, with the help of our volunteers.
Winter 2016 – Planting plan developed.
Spring 2016 – Site prepped and plants planted.
Summer 2016 – Net cover and doors installed.
Summer 2016 – Butterfly house ‘stocked’ with purchased caterpillars, but some eggs also came on plants that were purchased and planted.
2017 Season – Michigan Native Plant Pollinator Garden around the exterior perimeter of structure
2018 Season – Additional of an Arbored bench
2019 Season – “The Monarch” Sculpture added outside the butterfly house along with a blocked raised garden. Shade kites added to reduce heat on more sensitive plants
2022 Season – Permanent plexi-glass walls were attached to frame, the top still netted. Pergola was built and more hanging baskets for annuals were added. Lattice wall built for hop vines.
· Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
· Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)
· Eastern Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
· Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
· Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
· Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)
· Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
· Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
· American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Link to Know Your Butterflies brochure: CLICK HERE.
For-Mar participates in the Monarch butterfly tagging program through Monarch Watch. “The Monarch Watch Tagging Program is a large-scale community science project that was initiated in 1992 to help understand the dynamics of the monarch’s spectacular fall migration through mark and recapture.”
Each year For-Mar orders circular, lightweight stickers (called tags) that are placed carefully on the wings of Monarchs. A unique ID number on each tag is used to keep track of information associated
with each butterfly, tagger, and recovery. When applied as directed, the tags do not interfere with flight or otherwise harm the butterflies.
“Community scientists” (like the ones at For-Mar) capture monarchs throughout the migration season, record the tag code, tag date, gender of the butterfly, and geographic location then tag and release them. At the end of the tagging season, these data are submitted to Monarch Watch and added to our database to be used in research.” For more detailed information about Tagging visit: https://monarchwatch.org/tagging/
Butterfly House Operating Times
Mid-May thru Mid-October
Net cover and doors reinstalled yearly
May thru July
Staff and volunteers stock Native Butterfly and Caterpillar species
Monarchs are “tagged” and released
Net cover and doors are removed
November – April
Butterfly House is closed for the season
Barrier Free Treehouse