Salt Creek Butterfly Farm
planting butterfly habitats, presenting interactive butterfly programs
At Salt Creek Butterfly Farm we believe our lives are richer and fuller when we are able to make a personal connection with nature. We are dedicated to providing a wide variety of opportunities for children and adults to slow down, observe, and appreciate the quiet but spectacular presence of butterflies in our world.
In the classroom:
Our Art-in-Nature workshops and classes strengthen students' observation skills in both the disciplines of science and art. The language of the arts (line, shape, color, pattern, form) allows students to visually decipher our butterflies and caterpillars, and interpret their observations thru the visual arts. We also use scientific methods to evaluate size, wing shape, feeding behaviors, sex and flight patterns. We make assumptions about behaviors such as feeding preferences, and test our predictions.
In the field:
Whether we visit your classroom with a live butterfly art and nature experience, or make an appointment to visit us at one of our butterfly habitats to collect and adopt your own caterpillars, we know you'll have a deeper connection and appreciation of the amazing world that is our own backyard.
We plant to attract all native Illinois butterflies to our butterfly habitats, but have a special place in our hearts for the Monarch. Creating and preserving butterfly habitat has become paramount in the efforts to protect the Monarch migration - we are eager to do our part and share our knowledge of this spectacular phenomenon.
Perhaps you'd like to raise the last generation of monarchs that will join the fall migration, or participate in tagging and releasing those monarchs. Maybe you'd like to hunt for black swallowtail butterfly eggs and caterpillars, or create a work of art with us... Whatever your interest is, we'd love to share some healthy, creative back-to-nature experiences with you soon!
Lori Stralow Harris
BFA Painting, University of Illinois
MA Interdisciplinary Art, Columbia College
Lori opened Salt Creek Butterfly Farm in 2012 following 25+ years experience designing, implementing and instructing arts and education programs in the Chicago area.
Though the years as a Artist-in-Residence, Master Teacher, and Manager of Education for Urban Gateways she worked in the classroom, led teacher training and designed curriculum for schools, community centers, and arts organizations.
She designed exhibit layouts and exhibit content for Project Exploration's internationally traveling paleontology exhibits for several yeas. In Paul Sereno's University of Chicago fossil lab she learned to mold and cast dinosaur skulls, teeth an claws - a skill which transferred to molding and casting many of the butterfly chrysalides at Peggy Notebaert nature museum.
Handling thousands of butterfly chrysalides of different colors, forms and textures at Judy Isock Butterfly Haven cemented for her the powerful connection between art and nature. Her Butterfly programs offer hands on experiences that educate children and adults about the artistic beauty and grace of nature in our back yards.
Lori currently teaches at the Montessori School of Western Springs during the butterfly "off season".
Our butterfly gardens and milkweed hill were designated as Monarch Waystation 5889 by Monarch Watch in 2012. We are proud to be recognized for our efforts in monarch conservation.
Salt Creek Butterfly Farm participates in the annual fall migration tagging program which monitors monarch migration patterns in North America.
We are also Certified Wildlife Habitat #174723 with the National Wildlife Federation.