Anderson Education Center

Many of our education programs are hosted in the Anderson Education Center. It houses the Purdy Butterfly House, the nation’s best open-air butterfly house. This beautiful natural stone and steel beam structure overlooks Little Smith Lake. A variety of native butterflies rely upon the lush vegetation and flowering plants inside the building for an ecosystem that is accessible for visitors to view. Peak butterfly season is from May through September.

Did You Know

Did you know that the Garden has natural butterfly “hot spots?” There are two monarch waystations on property:

  • West Side of Little Smith Lake near the west entrance to the Purdy Butterfly House
  • Along the brick path between the Aquatic Garden and the Summer House, on the west side closest to the Dogwood trail

To learn more, look for the signage at both locations or visit

In addition to the monarch waystations, the Garden has many pollinator, host and nectar plants throughout the grounds that support our native butterfly populations along the Floral Promenade, in the Children’s Garden, around Four Seasons, and surrounding the ORIGAMI IN THE GARDEN exhibits. You’ll notice butterflies congregating and “puddling” along the Garden stream, when they are extracting minerals and water from the wet/muddy soils.

The horticulture team is continuously adding pollinator plants to our collections such as common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), bee balm (Monarda spp.), columbine Aquilegia canadensis, lavender (Lavandula spp.), salvias (Salvia spp.), catmint (Nepeta spp.), beardtongue (Penstemon spp.) and anise hyssop (Agastache foenicullum).

Garden admission includes entry into the Anderson Education Center

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