PRESS RELEASE: (Missouri Department of Conservation) — The popular monarch butterflies become a bit more numerous in the Kansas City area during September. Successive generations build numbers as summer wanes and migrating monarchs from northern states travel south. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will celebrate the beauty and wonder of this remarkable butterfly with a series of free programs at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City and the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs.
The programs range from fun activities for toddlers to serious science efforts. Monarch butterflies have declined nationally in recent decades due to habitat loss and other challenges. People can help by adding some monarch-friendly native plants to home gardens or rural acreages.
- The Gorman Discovery Center will kick off a new Citizen Science Saturday series with a program on monarch butterflies on Saturday, Sept. 7. Participants will learn how to use the iNaturalist and Monarch SOS apps on digital devices to identify butterflies and wildlife, record encounters, and contribute the information to science data bases. This walk-in program is open to participants age 9 and older. Two sessions are offered, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Participants will need to bring their cell phones or tablets.
- Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer a “Flutter Like a Butterfly” program from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11. This program is designed for children age 3 and younger. Toddlers and babes and accompanying adults are welcome. The toddlers will learn about the magical trek monarchs make to Mexico in autumn and back north in the spring. Participants should dress for an outdoor trek for a portion of the program.
- Burr Oak Woods will offer visitors a chance to tag monarch butterflies from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14. The small paper tags affixed to the wings, when recovered, help scientists track monarch movements and populations. No registration is required and the program is open to all ages.
- Gorman Discovery Center will offer a Monarch Mania event from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21. This walk-in program for all ages will give visitors a chance to tag migrating monarchs. Milkweed plants will be given away and various other exhibits and activities will be offered. Also, the Missouri Prairie Foundation will offer native plant seeds and seedlings for sale. A portion of the proceeds will benefit prairie preservation and restoration in Missouri.
For more information, or to register for an event that requires registration, visit the Burr Oak Woods and Discovery Center pages at http://mdc.mo.gov, and MDC’s online events signup portal at https://mdc.mo.gov/events-s3.