On Saturday, May 15, we hosted a super fun family event, led by local educator and monarch butterfly enthusiast, Cathy Denham, at Abersham Park. Using colorful posters, Cathy taught us about the life cycle and migration patterns of monarch butterflies and the critical role milkweed plants play in that life cycle. Due to habitat loss, climate change, and pesticide use, the number of monarchs has declined by 90%!!! By planting and protecting pesticide-free milkweed, we can help to reverse this troubling trend. At Abersham and Fisher Farm parks, a local farmer mows the fields for hay. It’s important to protect the milkweed plants in these fields to allow monarchs to complete their life cycles as they migrate down to Mexico. Monarchs can ONLY lay their eggs on milkweed plants and the caterpillars feast upon the leaves.
The children at this outing decorated flags with colorful butterflies, flowers, and slogans to raise awareness about the milkweed. We took the flags down to a field, waded through blooming daisies, and placed the flags on tall metal posts to draw the eye of visitors to the park. Families were then sent home with packets of milkweed seeds to plant in their own yards. Many thanks to Cathy and the families who volunteered their time to protect milkweed for monarchs.