• Pollinator Paradise Fundraising


Donate today

Help us create children’s museum-quality exhibits in the new Pollinator Paradise addition. Click the button below to donate and just write “Pollinator Paradise” in the special instructions to the seller area! You can also drop off a check made out to the Conservation Foundation of Dickinson County with “Pollinator Paradise” in the memo line at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.

What you can see and do

View live honeybees up close in their hive as they forage, make honey and build honeycomb. Learn there’s nothing to be afraid of with honeybees and native bees.

Pretend you are a honeybee and climb through human-sized honeycomb. End your experience with an adventure through the curly slide!

See the live butterfly life cycle each summer in our butterfly enclosure. Watch caterpillars grow 1,800 times larger before becoming chrysalises and hatching into adult butterflies before being released into the wild.


In 2006, conservationist Delores Maser graciously donated funds to build a small butterfly house in Kenue Park, what would be the future home of the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji.

In the past 11 years, it has been used to rear monarch caterpillars each summer, from eggs to caterpillars to chrysalis to adult butterfly. Then each butterfly is tagged and released into the wild. Youth and adults are able to see the monarch life cycle up close, aiding in fostering an appreciation for these precious creatures.

In 2015, the butterfly house was renovated and exhibits were added on butterflies, native bees and planting natives for pollinators. With the addition of pollinator gardens as well, the entire area was renamed Pollinator Paradise and has spurred the desire for the Pollinator Paradise addition to the nature center.

(Learn more about the Bee & Butterfly Festival.)

Coming in November 2019!

Graphic of amazing apples exhibit

Amazing Apples

Enter Pollinator Paradise to help bees pollinate flowers in a life-size apple tree grove. Dress up as a bee, collect pollen, launch it onto the stigma of a flower and watch as it moves from tree to tree to create fruit with the help of bees. Cooperate with fellow bees to cross-pollinate as many flowers as possible. Learn that one in three bites of food that we take is due to pollinators!

Graphic of butterfly exhibit

Magic Monarchs

Observe real monarch butterflies as they go through their life cycle from egg to caterpillar to pupa and finally to adult butterfly. Create your own symmetrical butterfly wing designs using colorful tiles and a mirror. Watch giant monarchs, painted ladies and swallowtail butterflies float overhead, identify their body parts and solve metamorphosis sequence puzzles.

Graphic of honeycomb climber

Honeycomb Climber

Dress up as a honeybee to climb, crawl and explore a giant beehive while peering over the prairie to search for flowers. Take care of the oversized eggs and larvae while learning about the life in a working hive. Observe real honeybees move in and out of a hive, work together to keep their colony productive and identify the queen, drones and worker bees as they go about their daily tasks.

Graphic of save the pollinators exhibit

Save the Pollinators

Create effective pollination plots using a touch screen table to better understand the important role insects play in our planet’s ecosystem and what you can do to help them thrive in and around your home. Select the type and amount of plants for a plot and watch how your choices impact the population of pollinators throughout the seasons.

Graphic of food truck exhibit

Fantastical FOod Truck

Play the role of a cook to distinguish between pollinated and non-pollinated foods while preparing meals in a large-scale food truck. Learn why one out of every three bites you eat requires pollinators while creating the ultimate meal out of pollinated fruits, vegetables, grains and other ingredients. Solve puzzles and play games to learn more about how amazing insects impact food production.

Graphic of build your own pollinator exhibit

Build a Pollinator

Invent the optimal insect by selecting fantastical, three-dimensional body parts to create the ultimate pollinator for Planet Earth.