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Audubon’s Monarch Butterfly Festival “Going Mexican” | Environment

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Audubon’s Monarch Butterfly Festival “Going Mexican”
Audubon’s Monarch Butterfly Festival “Going Mexican”

Jamestown, NY – Adding a Mexican flavor is just one of the new twists to this year’s Monarch Butterfly Festival at the Jamestown Audubon Center and Sanctuary.

On Saturday, August 25, visitors will have the opportunity to observe monarchs in every stage of their life cycle, from tiny eggs through caterpillar, chrysalis, and into beautiful butterflies.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Audubon’s auditorium will be transformed into a garden of wildflowers with butterflies flying about.  Tiny butterfly eggs will be on display along with monarch caterpillars of all sizes. One corner will have volunteers bringing butterflies for people to hold.  Another will have people tagging the butterflies with stickers.

Monarch enthusiast and Audubon Senior Naturalist Jeff Tome pointed out that, “After we release the butterflies, they will fly to Mexico, where our tags will help scientists track their migration. Offering Mexican food to Festival guests will remind them of where these beautiful creatures are heading.” The butterfly release will close the Festival at 4 p.m.

Another new feature at this year’s Festival will be photo opportunities with human-sized cutouts of a monarch butterfly and a caterpillar.  An adult can stand behind the butterfly and their head will be the monarch’s head.  Children can stick their heads through the caterpillar’s to have their pictures taken as a caterpillar. 

There will also be butterfly crafts for kids, butterfly related items – including monarch t-shirts -- featured in the Nature Store, tours of Audubon’s butterfly garden, and a plant sale aimed at getting more milkweed, the only food of monarch caterpillars, into the community. 

Inside, volunteers will help children and adults hold caterpillars and butterflies. Outside, they will show how to use insect nets to catch, identify and release butterflies on Audubon’s grounds. 

Monarch butterfly expert Barbara Case, known fondly at Audubon as “Monarch Mama,” plays a key role in the festival by collecting and raising scores of monarch eggs and caterpillars all summer. She and others will answer questions about raising and tagging monarchs, growing milkweed, planting a butterfly garden, and establishing a monarch way station to help these beautiful travelers.

Admission is $5 for Audubon members, $7 for non-members, two and under free.

The Audubon Center and Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, off Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. The Center’s building, with a nature store and exhibits of live fish, reptiles, amphibians and more, is open Monday-Saturday 10 am-4:30 pm, Sundays 1-4:30 pm. Its five miles of trails, Bald Eagle viewing, arboretum, and gardens are open dawn to dusk every day. 

This event is made possible by the dedication of volunteers, several of whom are registered with RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Major Monarch Butterfly Festival sponsors are Wegmans and Whirley DrinkWorks as well as Frewsburger Pizza Shop, H&R Block of Warren, Heritage Senior Living Communities, Kings’ Heating & Sheet Metal Inc., Lena’s Pizza, Phoenix Metal, and United Refining Company.

For more information about Audubon and all its programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit http://jamestownaudubon.org/.

For detailed instructions on raising monarchs and to follow the monarch butterfly migration, visit www.monarchwatch.org. Helpful hints on butterfly gardens are available at www.butterflywebsite.com.

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