In the mid-19th century several prominent Chicago-based naturalists got together to realize a dream of raising awareness of Chicago natural history.
By 1857, there dream and hard work became reality. That year saw the opening of The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of Chicago, Illinois which was named in honor of the wife of Richard Notebaert, the current chairman and CEO of Qwest Communications. It immediately became one of the best and most respected natural history museums in the country. However, it had a major setback after losing everything in the Great Chicago fire in 1871.
The center was resurrected, but went under during the financial downturn in the 1880s. It resurrected a second time in 1898 and continued, becoming great once more. It would move to its current home in 1999. The museum’s primary focus is the natural history of the Chicago area. There are several immensely popular exhibits throughout the grounds such as Butterfly Haven, City Science House, Water Lab, and Wilderness Walk Habitat. These exhibits have all been streamlined through the years by museum staff and natural science expert.
Perhaps the most popular of these aforementioned exhibits is Butterfly Haven. This exhibit boast a massive collection of over 200 butterflies from all over the world. For the museum, this butterfly collection is more than just for public entertainment. The museum is heading a study, care, and breeding of butterfly project for the Chicago area.