Become a Butterfly Benefactor!

What will you do for fun this summer?

You could stress over planning structured activities.

Or . . . you could wing it.

The Butterfly Habitat at Lost River Cave provides a unique, unstructured outdoor experience.  It is a place where you can relax, let your imagination soar and find yourself in nature.

By taking action with a donation to the 2017 Butterfly Habitat, you join a group of dedicated, imaginative people and create an environment where discovery takes flight.  With your donation, you become a Butterfly Benefactor!

A small $5 donation pays for one butterfly to be added to the Butterfly Habitat at Lost River Cave. When you increase your donation, you help provide host and feeder plants for the butterflies to thrive.

How does your donation have an impact when it takes $15,000 to fund the Butterfly Habitat each season? Think of it this way: if each of our Facebook fans gave just $5, the Butterfly Habitat would be funded through 2019!

So wing it, BG, and watch your donation take flight!

Become a Butterfly Benefactor

For more information on Butterfly Benefactors,

contact Katie at 270.393.0077.

 How to Become a Butterfly Benefactor
OnlineVisit to make your donation online.
US MailPrint Butterfly Benefactor form; mail check and form to:

Lost River Cave
Attn: Butterfly 2017
2818 Nashville Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101
In PersonStop in the Lost River Cave Gift Shop to make a donation and become a Butterfly Benefactor.

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

Does a butterfly really cost $5?
Yes, even with Lost River Cave’s volume discount, a live butterfly costs $5 on average! Butterflies range from $3.50 to $7.00 each depending on the species.

Where do the butterflies come from?
The Butterflies in the Habitat are bred at a butterfly farm in Florida. Both chrysalis and adult butterflies are shipped overnight so that chrysalis can be hung and adults released into the habitat.

Why do we need your help?
Community support is vital to continue expanding activities and events at Lost River Cave. The support of Butterfly Benefactors helps with the $15,000 needed to provide the Butterfly Habitat each year.

What species of butterflies can be found in the Butterfly Habitat?
You may find an assortment of Gulf Fritillaries, Monarchs, Giant Swallowtails, Black Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, or American Ladies inside the Habitat. The Butterfly Habitat houses species native to our area. They will vary throughout season based on what is available from the butterfly farm at the time of order.

What do butterflies eat?
Butterflies use their proboscis, or tongue, like a straw to drink nectar from flowers of feeder plants. Lost River Cave’s Butterfly Curator maintains the balance between bloom and butterfly ensuring enough nectar for the butterflies inside. Common feeder plants for butterflies in this area include zinnias, sunflowers, lantana, milkweed, and black-eyed susans. Planting these feeder plants at home will attract wild butterflies.

What do caterpillars eat?
Caterpillars munch on the leaves of “host plants.” Each species of butterfly feeds on specific host plants. Amazingly, mother butterflies know to lay their eggs on the underside of host plant leaves that will nourish the caterpillars once hatched. Common host plants for caterpillars in this area include dill, parsley, fennel, carrot, and anise. Planting these host plants at home will attract wild butterflies.

How long do butterflies live?
It depends on the species. Some butterflies only live about a week. Others may have a lifespan of weeks or months. Butterflies inside the Habitat often live longer than their counterparts in the wild because the Habitat offers protection from natural predators as well as manmade threats such as moving vehicles.

Where can I buy caterpillars or butterflies to rear or release at home?
Lost River Cave does not condone the purchase or rearing of commercially raised butterflies. Releasing butterflies:

  • Can spread diseases to natural populations.
  • Mixes genetically distinct populations of the same species.
  • May disrupt migratory behavior of native butterflies.
  • Confuses scientific studies of butterfly migrations.
  • Usually results in the untimely death of butterflies released.

Instead, take your child to any natural area or plant some of the feeder or host plants mentioned above and search for wild butterflies and caterpillars. They are easily found in most areas throughout the spring and summer.

Your GiftPays for...Our gift to you:
$5One butterflyDownloadable Lost River Cave butterfly coloring pages
$25Five butterfliesInvitation for four to an exclusive Butterfly Benefactor & Members only butterfly release and the gift above
$50Ten butterfliesLost River Cave water bottle and the gifts above
$150Twenty butterflies and 5 plants to host caterpillars or feed butterfliesLost River Cave umbrella and the gifts above
$250Thirty-five butterflies and eight plants to host caterpillars or feed butterfliesEmbroidered Lost River Cave hat and the gifts above
$500Seventy-five butterflies and eight plants to host caterpillars or feed butterfliesLost River Cave t-shirt and the gifts above
$1000One hundred-fifty butterflies and fifteen plants to host caterpillars or feed butterfliesA private butterfly release at the Butterfly Habitat with Lost River Cave's Nature Center team. Plus the gifts above

Show us how you #WingItBG!

On Instagram, share photos of your favorite moments winging it outside or visiting the Butterfly Habitat with #WingItBG, and see them on our website!