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Donors Step Up After Butterfly House Was Broken Into, Burglarized

A solar-powered fountain that was stolen from the Roston Native Butterfly House has been found.  Two visitors to Nathanael Greene-Close Memorial Park, where the butterfly house is located, found it in a wooded area of the park.

The fountain was just one of several things stolen overnight last Thursday.  Thieves cut a hole in the butterfly house wall and took pruning shears, a rose bush, several ceramic frogs and a net enclosure full of cocoons and live moths.

The nonprofit group, Friends of the Garden, which supports Springfield Botanical Gardens and operates the butterfly house, had just replaced the entire structure’s netting earlier this summer.  It was supposed to last around 10 years. 

Debra Barnhart, who volunteers at the butterfly house, says whoever took the enclosure with the cocoons and moths should leave it open outside so they can emerge.

Donations after the theft have raised more than the $500 estimated loss and damage.  You can make a donation at

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.