About Us


The mission of the Panhandle Butterfly House is to increase the public’s awareness of butterflies and their important role in the environment.

Brief History

The Panhandle Butterfly House was founded by Jack and Fonda Wetherell in 1997. The exhibit was started as a cooperative program of the Santa Rosa Clean Community System, Inc., the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service and the Navarre, Florida, Chamber of Commerce.  The PBH was built entirely through volunteer labor.  The original building was replaced by the existing structure in 2003 following Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis.

The PBH operates as a non-profit program of Keep Santa Rosa Beautiful, Inc., and the UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service with the support of the Florida Master Gardeners

In 2015, over 14,000 people visited the exhibit; guests were from 48 states, 2 territories, and 17 foreign countries.  PBH programs have been recognized by several awards:  the Curtis Kingsbery Award by the Francis M. Weston Audubon Society, the Award of Excellence in Service to 4-H and Other Youth by the Florida Master Gardeners, the Best Horticultural Program in the Nation by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, and Member of the Month by the Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.


From inception in 1997 until the close of 2018, the butterfly house was located in Navarre Park at 8581 Navarre Parkway, Navarre, Florida. Highway 98 at the foot of the Navarre Bridge.

A search for a new home is underway.