Brown Family Environmental Center

The Kenyon College Brown Family Environmental Center provides opportunities for self-guided study of organisms and habitats of the Kokosing River valley. It covers approximately 380 acres and has a small visitor center and butterfly garden (which directly adjoins the Kokosing Gap Trail).

The butterfly garden is so named because it was designed to attract butterflies. The flowers provide nectar for adult butterflies and the leaves and stems of many of the plants are eaten by butterfly larvae. Woodpiles located at the far end of the garden are a place where caterpillars and pupae can overwinter. On a sunny afternoon, if you look carefully you can find more than a dozen varieties of butterflies. Brightly colored tiger swallowtails and monarchs are often found sipping nectar from the purple buddlia near the entrance to the garden. In the fall, if you look closely at the leaves of the butterfly-weed that grows near the entrance you can expect to find green and white striped monarch caterpillars or the fuzzy black and orange caterpillars of the tussock moth. You might also find bright red milkweed beetles or black and red milkweed bugs. All of these insects feed on the milky sap of this plant.

For more on the Brown Family Environmental Center, go to their web site.