Board Member / Secretary
Lauren became a member of the IBBA three years ago after attending several Butterfly Professional Conferences in Florida, Virginia and Texas. In addition to currently serving on the 2019 IBBA Board of Directors, Lauren has been on the Board of the Butterfly Society of Virginia since 2001.
Her interest in butterflies began 21 years ago, and was prompted by her niece’s insistence that they raise butterflies on their annual summer visit to her Virginia home. Her journey began with a purchased Painted Lady Kit, then progressed to raising Eastern Black Swallowtails and Monarchs that were drawn to the newly discovered plants, and has now expanded to rearing 30 species of butterflies and moths each season. Her urban garden became Monarch Waystation #341 in October 2005.
Lauren has managed the Virginia Native Butterfly House, a 30’ by 100’ habitat, for the Norfolk Botanical Garden since 2010. This exhibit has over 150,000 visitors each season who have the opportunity to experience the full life cycle display of the 30 butterfly and moth species she raises. In addition to maintaining the exhibit, training the volunteers that support the educational and interpretive programs, and providing the butterflies that are housed there, she is the Chairperson for the annual Butterfly Festival, a joint venture of the Botanical Garden and Butterfly Society. The Butterfly Festival has educational exhibits, demonstrations, classes, speakers, crafts, games and a plant sale, and draws 3,000 attendees each year.
She also established and continues to conduct the annual Monarch Tagging event held at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. This event has grown over the last 10 years and now brings over 2,000 guests to the garden on tagging day to learn about the magic of the monarch migration and how they can help preserve this spectacular phenomena. Six hundred families have the opportunity to adopt, tag and release a monarch.
Lauren has a passion for community outreach. Working with the Butterfly Society of Virginia and the Norfolk Botanical Garden, she has provided many educational programs and exhibits to schools, garden clubs, community fairs and festivals covering topics such as creating butterfly habitats and Monarch Waystations, the importance of host and nectar plants, how to raise butterflies and monarch migration.
Additional career experiences include: Elementary Education with the NJ public Schools. Program Assistant for the Artist Teacher Institute and the Arts in the Parks programs with the NJ State Council for the Arts. Recreational Director for the Communities of Concordia. Chairperson, Holly Festival of Trees, a benefit for The Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, and Co-Owner/VP Sales & Marketing for Solution Staffing.
Lauren is looking forward to assisting the IBBA community of members by sharing her many experiences with them and working to support the mission of the IBBA. Feel free to contact her at Butterflyfest@aol.com or 757-869-5090.