Butterfly Ridge Butterfly Conservation Center ltd is a limited liability company owned by Christopher and Kris Kline. The initial idea for Butterfly Ridge came into being in early 2014. The idea was to have a garden that would focus on the health and well-being of butterflies native to southeastern Ohio. Ultimately, the goal is that this garden will be open to the public to visit and learn about butterflies, moths, and other pollinators. We officially opened July 1, 2017.
The garden is a twenty-one acre slice of the Hocking Hills located in southeastern Ohio. This property has been in Chris' family since just after the Civil War and holds a very special place in our hearts. The garden site was completely covered in deciduous and conifer trees when work initially started in the Spring of 2014. As of February, 2015 we had cleared about a half-acre of trees as well as marked paths that will be used as butterfly monitoring tracts beginning in 2015. As of February, 2018, we have cleared roughly two acres of trees, completed a one-mile trail, built a treehouse overlooking a forest opening, and have converted about 1.5 acres of old field to prairie.
One thing that we struggled mightily with was the structure under which to begin the business. For six months we debated whether to start as an LLC, a sole proprietorship, or a non-profit. Since the project, and the land, is so close to our hearts, we did not want to give up control of the project to a Board of Directors. This ruled out the non-profit idea. Through our research we discovered that really what we wanted was to start out as a L3C, a low-profit LLC. This is a for-profit structure on paper that is a non-profit at heart. Unfortunately, the L3C structure is not recognized in Ohio, therefore we were sort of stuck going the LLC route. We are hopeful that at some point in the future the state of Ohio will recognize the L3C structure.
The Klines are not going into this venture to make money beyond simply providing enough income to sustain us while we work on the project. Butterfly Ridge will invest heavily in helping others develop butterfly habitat. It will invest heavily in research to help us learn more about butterflies. It will invest in the community and support students whose career goals include learning more about the natural world. We hope that you will join us in this endeavor and these investments.