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New butterfly conservatory spreading wings in South Tampa

Butterfly sanctuary
Posted at 11:07 AM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 16:18:46-05

TAMPA, Fla. — If you grow it, they will come. That’s the idea behind one of Tampa’s newest businesses, Little Red Wagon Native Nursery. They are in the process of becoming home to hundreds of butterflies.

“I’ve always been a nature girl since I was a kid,” said owner Anita Camacho.
Camacho has the perfect touch when it comes to corralling butterflies.

“It’s a joyful experience, they are very tranquil to watch, they aren’t dangerous, they don’t bite or sting,” said Camacho.

Anita is actually an accountant, but she has spent years traveling the world as a hobby studying these delicate creatures.

“Studied butterflies with large international groups and realized that Tampa didn’t really have a whole lot of opportunities for butterfly clubs,” said Camacho.

So during the pandemic, Anita created Little Red Wagon Native Nursery. The idea is first you bring in the plants, then you introduce the pollinators.

In the back of the nursery, they are in the process of building a conservatory, where families and field trips can immerse themselves with up to 500 of these colorful insects.

Anita hopes to inspire others to create their own butterfly gardens by educating guests on what plants to grow at home. There are 125 different species native to The Bay Area.

“It’s easy gardening, you don’t have to do a lot to your soil, you just plant it and the butterflies come,” said Camacho.

The conservatory is scheduled to be complete this spring. Anita said she couldn’t think of a better way to break out of our pandemic cocoon, spread our wings, and fly.

“A sense of freedom and joy and I think we can all use some hope right now,” said Camacho.