Audubon To Host Monarch Butterfly Festival

At the Audubon Community Nature Center’s Monarch Butterfly Festival on Saturday, Aug. 31, area residents can hold a real butterfly and a real caterpillar and inspect their eggs and chrysalises.

Imagine how delightful it would be in an indoor garden filled with free-flying Monarch Butterflies.

The Monarch butterfly, once featuring abundant populations, is slowly recovering from record low populations. Area residents can learn more at the Monarch Butterfly Festival at Audubon Community Nature Center on Saturday, August 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Indoors, those attending can hand-feed the butterflies and watch how citizen scientists tag them to track their migration to Mexico. Observe their life cycle by examining Monarch eggs and holding caterpillars. There will also be opportunities to use a net to catch insects around the pond, walk trails, do crafts, take a nature hike and get a temporary Monarch tattoo. Naturalists will lead hikes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

There will be a basket giveaway and purchase great food from 3 C’s Food Truck.

Those who stay until the festival’s close at 4 p.m. can watch the Monarchs when they are released to fly to Mexico.

Scouts and other children can earn the right to purchase a Monarch Butterfly Fun Patch, available on a first-come, first-served basis. Requirements are available at the Welcome Desk at the Nature Center.

Those attending can also explore the Ted Grisez arboretum and additional gardens, exhibits of live fish, reptiles and amphibians, and Liberty, Audubon’s resident Bald Eagle.

Festival admission is $8, or $6 for Nature Center members and children ages 3-15. Two and under are free, as is parking.

Monarchs and Margaritas, an adult version of the Festival, is on Friday evening, Aug. 30. For more information, visit AudubonCNC.org/MonarchFestival.

Sponsors of the Monarch Butterfly Festival are Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric, I-86 Auto Repair, Jamestown Kitchen and Bath, JRSC Digital, and Wegmans. Additional sponsors are Ashville General Store, Courier Capital, Hollyloft Ski and Bike, MW Graphics, and Pat and Mark Evans.

There are dozens of volunteers, some of whom are registered with RSVP, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

The Audubon Community Nature Center is located at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. For more information, call 569-2345 or visit AudubonCNC.org.