ESM features two growing spaces in which students can explore natural history, and plant, soil, and animal biology. The Vivarium is a 1500 foot, two story greenhouse with a prominent place at the school's main entrance. It is maintained as an aesthetic resource: a place where students and visitors can experience the forms, colors and smells of a diverse tropical ecosystem. The vivarium is also used as a place to display organisms that illustrate specific aspects of biology.
At any given moment we may have ant farms, caterpillar rearing cages, praying mantises, snakes, spiders, an ant/aphid colony, and a worm composting trial. A second greenhouse is used for student experiments and to grow host plants for butterfly caterpillars that will be introduced to the vivarium. Our goal is to establish rearing cycles and maintain an ongoing population of four Connecticut species: monarch, black swallowtail, red admiral, and cabbage whites. Click here to learn more about native butterflies.