The Butterfly Tree - CODAworx

The Butterfly Tree


Location: Fort Washington, MD, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $175,000

Project Team


Alec Simpson

MNCPPC Prince George County

Industry Resource

Ben Blaney

ART Research Enterprises


Judy Sutton Moore



The Butterfly Tree is symbolic of the historical strength of this community and its enriched and evolving lives. It emblematically rises from the seeds planted in the community garden where the Aquatic Center now stands. The site is on the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly, and the tree stands in a garden created as a habitat for migrating butterflies. The Butterfly Tree, like the butterfly, is forever metamorphous, changing in the light of the sun and the seasons. The purposeful placement of the tree creates reflected butterflies cast on the walls of the Aquatic Center.


The Southern Regional Aquatic Wellness Center results from the community's desire for their children to learn to swim and better health awareness for all. The public art for this complex design engages the patrons, provides a sense of community, invites contemplation, lives in sync with the natural world, and respects the building's design.


The artist collaborated with Yvonne T. Johnson, the architect, and Alec Simpson, Coordinator for Public Art from the Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission, Prince George County, and A.R.T. Research Enterprises. At the beginning of the design phase, the artist met with community members to learn their desires and expectation for the art. From this meeting, the artist developed the concept and design of The Butterfly Tree—scale models created by the artist and used to fabricate the sculpture. The artist and the staff at A.R.T. Research Enterprises worked together during the fabrication. A.R.T. Research Enterprises coordinated the transporting of the oversized tree with the trucking company and the Highway Departments of Maryland and Pennsylvania. Installation and site preparation supervised by the artist in coordination with A.R.T.

Additional Information

Location: Southern Regional Aquatic Wellness Center, Fort Washington, MD. Materials: Stainless Steel Dimensions: 27'H x 22'W x 16'D