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Two Pittsburgh Institutions Join Forces to Host Butterfly Celebration

Two very different Pittsburgh icons are finding common ground in an insect.

The Carnegie Science Center and Phipps Conservatory are teaming up to host Butterfly Weekend, a two-day event that will give the public a chance to learn about the butterfly’s life cycle and natural habitat.

Susan Zimecki, director of marketing and community affairs at the Carnegie Science Center, points to a film as the inspiration behind the event.

“As soon as I learned we were getting the ‘Flight of the Butterflies’ movie and I previewed it and saw how awesome it was, I immediately thought of Phipps and their equally awesome annual Butterfly Forest and thought there certainly ought to be a way we can collaborate and have an exciting weekend together,” Zimecki said.

The Carnegie Science Center is hosting day one of Butterfly Weekend this Saturday. The center will feature educational stations showcasing the different stages of the butterfly’s life, a craft station where visitors will put together sticks that show the motion of a butterfly in flight, a live monarch butterfly tent and a viewing of “Flight of the Butterflies” in the Rangos Omnimax Theater.

The Phipps Conservatory will take over Sunday with a focus on teaching the public about the butterfly’s habitat.

“We want people to come to Phipps and enjoy the beauty of nature and really be inspired by that — hopefully to grow their own gardens and to live more sustainably in their own lives,” said Liz Fetchin, director of marketing and communications at Phipps Conservatory.

Phipps will offer a “Behind the Butterflies” tour guided by entomologist Scott Creary. Creary will take visitors through the Butterfly Forest and into the Production Greenhouses to observe the butterfly lab. Phipps will also have craft and planting stations available for children and butterfly-themed snacks at Café Phipps.

Attending both days has its benefits. Visitors who show their “Flight of the Butterflies” ticket stub at Phipps will get $2 off general admission on Sunday, and those who bring their general admission stub from Phipps to the Science Center will get $2 off general admission June 1-14.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."