Mural Unveiled at Wildwood Zoo’s Future Monarch Butterfly Exhibit

Marshfield Monarchs: The Next Generation. Used with permission.

Exhibit to Open June 15 During Zoofest

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) A colorful mural brightens up Wildwood Zoo’s future monarch butterfly exhibit, set to debut during Zoofest on June 15.

Melissa Gwiaza

Melissa Gwiazda, who is spearheading the exhibit with husband James and their two young daughters, estimates it took about 35 hours to design and paint the butterfly mural, but doesn’t mind the effort.

“It was well worth it,” she said. “It turned out a lot better than I even thought it would.”

[Related: Local Family Rescues Monarch Butterflies]

The realistic set of butterfly wings were installed this week on the side of the box turtle exhibit, the future home of the butterflies. Gwiazda painted the orange sections first before using small brushes to carefully add in the black.

“I wanted to get a lot of detail in it and try to make it look almost 3D,” she said.

The mural has received positive feedback and children are already happily posing in front of it to show off their “wings.”

Meanwhile, the Gwiazda family is busy preparing for the opening of the exhibit by installing screens, placing plants, and collecting butterfly eggs to raise. So far they have collected 300 eggs and have a goal of hatching 1,000 by the end of the season in October. Last year, they released 600 butterflies.

Most of the butterflies will be hatched at home and then transported to the zoo exhibit with scheduled releases announced on the Marshfield Monarchs: The Next Generation Facebook page.

“We’ll meet people anywhere they want to meet as well,” Gwiazda said. The family has released butterflies at local parks and even at the cemetery to honor loved ones.

Marshfield Monarchs is donating raffles for the Zoofest event, a fundraiser for the zoo. Families can enjoy bounce houses, face tattoos, train rides and more from 11-2 p.m. The cost is $5 per family.

Found OnFocus: Melissa Gwiazda, Monarch Butterfly Rescuer

Monarch Butterfly Exhibit Coming to Wildwood Zoo