Ten years ago, the North American Butterfly Association broke ground for what has now become the largest native plant botanical garden in the United States. This 100-acre preserve is home to Spike (who thinks he is a butterfly) and the greatest volume and variety of wild, free-flying butterflies in the nation. In fact, USA Today calls the National Butterfly Center, in Mission, Texas, "the butterfly capitol of the USA."
Did you know nearly 150 species of North American butterflies can be seen only in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of Texas, or by traveling to Mexico?
In fact, more than 300 species of butterflies may be found in the LRGV, and more than 200 species have been seen at the National Butterfly Center, including a number of rarities and U.S. Records!
Incredibly, almost 40% of the 700+ butterflies that can be found in the United States can be seen in this three-county area at the southernmost tip of Texas, where the subtropical climate makes it possible to enjoy the outdoors year 'round.
A flagship project of the North American Butterfly Association, the NBC is committed to 'Growing Connections' between people, plants, and the winged wonders that pollinate and propagate all that grows around us. We do this through educational and environmental initiatives that cultivate meaningful understanding of the parties and processes that create beneficial and sustainable ecosystems.
The Center showcases live animals and plants, in wild and cultivated settings, with educational exhibits to enhance human understanding and appreciation. This large-scale project is designed to ensure our beautiful landscape and the wildlife we take for granted will be here for future generations to enjoy. In addition to the ever-growing gardens and trails, the Center now boasts an impressive, new Visitor's Pavilion, designed by Wendy Evans Joseph, principal architect of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and the Women's Museum in Dallas, Texas.
Located in Mission, Texas, near the Rio Grande River, and only 15 minutes from a major airport in McAllen, The Center is open to the public, for visitors and members, seven days/week.