Cape May's new butterfly sculpture spotlights now-endangered Monarch species

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Cape May's new butterfly sculpture spotlights now-endangered Monarchs
The Nature Conservancy launched the "Dream Machine Monarch," helping families learn about the butterflies that flutter through Cape May.

CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey launched the new "Dream Machine Monarch" today, helping families learn about the important butterflies that flutter through Cape May.

Artist Rubem Robierb, originally from Brazil, debuted his Dream Machine butterfly in 2018. The super-sized sculpture invites guests to immerse themselves between the wings to learn more about the monarch. Today, the ribbon was cut on a new permanent installation at the Garrett Family Preserve.

"I remember when I was a child, I was in Brazil seeing butterflies and interacting with nature," said Robierb. "Maybe that's why I'm still fascinated with butterflies. Because butterflies represent transformation."

Robierb's lustrous orange-hued artwork will serve as a new landmark, inviting guests to explore nature and envision even a caterpillar's wildest dreams.

"We all have to invent ourselves every day, and actually I think today, that's why people love interacting with my art," he said.

The Garrett Family Preserve, home to the new sculpture, boasts 180 acres of tidal marsh and native wildflower fields.

"This preserve especially is protecting a large amount of pollinator habitat," said NJ State Director of Nature Conservancy, Barbara Brummer. "It's up to us to help protect habitat for all wildlife."

Since 1951, the Nature Conservancy has connected people to their environments in creative ways. With more than one million members and over 400 scientists, the global effort contributes to conservation in 76 countries and territories. That includes areas close to home like in New Jersey, where they have protected 60,000 acres of land.

To learn more about the Nature Conservancy, visit their website.

RELATED: Beloved monarch butterflies now listed as endangered

As David Ono's daughter Kaia demonstrates, anyone can play a role in protecting the monarch butterfly, a majestic but diminishing species that migrates through California.