Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium to relocate after COVID-19 impacts finances

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NEW ORLEANS – Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, the hospitality and tourism industry has been struggling in New Orleans. This includes the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. 

The venue at the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street will permanently close. However, the spot will be relocated about a block away.

“We’re going to move it into the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on the Riverfront of Canal Street,” President & CEO of the Audubon Nature Institute, Rod Forman shared. “So, economically, it was just a good business decision to move it into one building. It saves us over a million dollars a year in rent and maintenance.”

WGNO asked Forman what the cost would be between the design, relocation and construction. His answer? “We haven’t come up with an exact budget yet but our hope will probably be at a 7 to 10 million dollar range for just or that part of the building. But we’re gonna do some major renovations to the aquarium also,” Forman explained. 

Forman says the new and improved Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium will likely display exotic insects throughout the building. Also, butterflies will freely fly around the exhibit. Whatever it takes to enhance the experience.

“The most important thing is for our kids to have a chance to get out of their homes, interact with wildlife and nature and learn about protecting the environment.,” said Forman. “So this is gonna be a fun, new museum in New Orleans and it’s for the people of New Orleans.”

The venue for the relocated Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is expected to open at the top of 2022.


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