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Grand Opening December 1
Grand Opening December 1

Note: This event has already taken place. If you are interested in learning about current and upcoming Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Events, click here.

When: Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Explore a whole new world of fluttering colors in the Wings of the Tropics exhibit and Science Village opening December 1, 2012.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s state-of-the-art DiMare Science Village, covering more than 25,000 square feet and featuring five buildings including the The Clinton Family Conservatory’s Wings of the Tropics Exhibit, Glass House Café, Windows to the Tropics Conservatory, The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion and the Kushlan Tropical Science Institute is scheduled to open on Saturday, December 1, 2012.

A canopy of native trees built into the architecture pre-construction, adorn the Conservatory’s exterior. Leading visitors through the Conservatory is a unique sidewalk path garnished with a variety of plant imprints courtesy of Fairchild Garden’s staff, volunteers and summer camp children. As guests enter the Butterfly Conservatory, volunteers will be on hand to offer information and welcome them into the Conservatory which is ADA accessible.

Creating a wonderland of nature, an outdoor screened enclosure arouses the senses with butterflies by the thousands, hummingbirds, palms and native trees wrapped with Fairchild Garden’s extensive collection of rare orchids, all alongside a tumbling stream that flows throughout the length of Conservatory. Upon entering, visitors encounter the Jason Vollmer Butterfly Metamorphosis Lab where, through a glass wall, they can view butterfly pupae that are undergoing metamorphosis. Butterfly Conservatory staff can be viewed in the lab conducting research and observing the as the butterflies emerge.  Emerging butterflies will be released twice a day into the Conservatory as part of its interactive programming for guests.

Visitors may continue next into the Windows to the Tropics Conservatory, the Tropical Fruit Pavilion and the Tropical Science Institute named in honor of Dr. James A. Kushlan, a well-known South Florida biologist and wetland conservationist and sponsor of Fairchild's bird conservation initiative. Its overarching goal is to collect under one umbrella the science activities of the Garden and to facilitate coordination and increased cooperation among South Florida's scientists, conservationists, and educators engaged in tropical science, conservation and higher education.

The new Glass House Café, which is directly across from Fairchild Garden’s rainforest, is decorated with Dale Chilhuly’s eight-foot long ‘Clear and Gold’ glass chandelier and 40 foot high ceilings that peer into the Conservatory through floor to ceiling glass doors. The Café’s popular menu has been broadened to include organic and locally grown food, includes seating of up to 250 people and is available for private rentals.

Unique alliances for scientific study, the Dr. Jane Hsiao Tropical Laboratories are installed with computer screens, Wi-Fi, and live webcams to facilitate lectures, and view the building’s interactive classrooms. The large-sized classrooms allow college and graduate students from Florida International University, the University of Miami and the University of Florida to extend their education.

This project is supported by the Building Better Communities Bond Program and the Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County.

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