GALESBURG, Ill. — The University of Illinois Knox County Extension and the Galesburg Parks and Recreation Department will bring the fifth annual Monarch Migration Festival to Lakeside Nature Center on Saturday, Sept. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The family friendly event will be held rain or shine and is free to the public.
Listen to expert speakers, learn how to create your own “monarch waystation”, tag a monarch for release, and participate in the annual costume parade. This event is a community collaboration sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, Knox County Farm Bureau, Galesburg Parks and Recreation, Pheasants Forever and Simply Native Nursery.
A new interactive mural will be unveiled at the event featuring a set of large monarch butterfly wings where participants can become the butterfly in their photos. Designed by Allison Ehrlinger, the mural is being painted by volunteers. Also new this year, is the addition of another butterfly release. Monarch releases will take place at noon and at 3 p.m.
Each autumn the North American monarch butterfly heads south to Mexico to avoid cold weather and hibernate. In the spring it returns to lay its eggs. The cycle then continues. Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed and their numbers have dipped in recent years reaching an all-time low.
Illinois and Galesburg have helped to do their part to save the Monarch and other pollinators. Illinois has 1,948 Monarch waystations and is second only to Texas in total number. With over 85 waystations within a 45-mile radius of Galesburg, this area is well on its way to being the Monarch Waystation Capital.
— University of Illinois Knox County Extension
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