By Chelsea Richardson
Brenda Dziedzic has been a nature lover all her life. After over 28 years working for AT&T, butterflies were all she could think about.
In 2001, Brenda wanted to see butterflies again like she did when she was little, so she created a butterfly garden. She also wrote a self-published book “Butterflies in the Garden.”
Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat in Westland, Mich. is a butterfly haven. While other places, like zoos, have exotic butterflies, Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat is full of native Michigan species.
She spent over $20,000 of her own money to create her beautiful butterfly house that starting out had nine types of butterflies and one moth.
As of June 1, she had over 70 butterflies in the structure. Now anyone who visits can see the entire butterfly life cycle. While the majority of caterpillars roam throughout the house, Brenda has a number of showcases that have caterpillars with their host plant so you can see them up close.
This spring was the release of the first batch of butterflies from the house.
Brenda wants to educate people about butterflies and how important they are to the ecosystem. She also wants to encourage people to plant flowers that will attract butterflies so that the species will continue to thrive.
Brenda says that she will give away caterpillars when she has an excess of them to those who have the right host plants.
It takes a lot of work to raise butterflies, but Brenda has the passion for it. The Michigan Nature Association has noticed that passion. MNA has made a $500 grant to Brenda so that she can continue her hard work in the protection of Michigan butterflies and educating the public about them.
Brenda said, “What a cool thing to do in retirement, right?”
We would have to agree with you, Brenda. For more information on Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat, visit Brenda’s website and Facebook page and check out a recent Detroit Free Press article on Brenda’s work.