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Knoch Knolls Nature Center to Host Sept. 17 Monarch Festival: A Pollinator Extravaganza

Monarch butterflies have been in the news lately, both locally and globally as a species in trouble, with its numbers dramatically decreasing due to environmental factors such as climate change and loss of habitat. On the bright side, there is a grass-roots effort to save the Monarch, from individuals planting milkweed in their gardens, to governments setting policies.

The Naperville Park District approved a Monarch Resolution in 2016, affirming its ongoing efforts to restore habitat for Monarchs and other pollinators and its educational activities designed to tell the Monarch’s story and inspire others to get involved.

The Park District will host its inaugural Monarch Festival from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, a free event described as a “Pollinator Extravaganza.”  All ages are invited to learn more about the Monarch and other pollinators that live in our area. Guests will receive free milkweed seeds that can be planted this fall, learn about how to plant other nectar plants that attract pollinators, and watch Monarchs being tagged for scientific study.

The Festival will take place at Knoch Knolls Nature Center at Knoch Knolls Park, located at 320 Knoch Knolls Road, where the Park District has planted a Monarch Waystation.  Activities will include educational games, crafts and storytelling for children, a presentation on native plants by Jim Kleinwachter of The Conservation Foundation, and an opportunity to meet two local beekeepers, Marge Trocki and Charlie Linnell.

Conservation and gardening organizations planning to attend the event include the Morton Arboretum,the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, The Conservation Foundation, DuPage Monarch Project, the University of Illinois Extension Officeand Master Gardeners, and the event sponsor, The Growing Place.

The Park District’s 2017 food truck vendors also have been invited to be on site so that guests may purchase snacks, beverages and treats.

“I’m looking forward to sharing information about pollinators with our visitors in a fun, yet educational setting,” said Nature Center Manager Angelique Harshman.  “The amazing transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly isn’t something that many people ever see so we’re excited to share this process and the incredible migration Monarchs make each fall and spring.”

In 2016 and again in 2017 Harshman raised Monarch butterflies at Knoch Knolls Nature Center, involving staff and summer campers in observing and caring for them. At the Monarch Festival they will demonstrate tagging the butterflies prior to their migration to Mexico.

Volunteers ages 16 to adult are needed to help at the Monarch Festival with parking, set up, clean up, and more. Interested volunteers may check http://www.napervilleparks.org/volunteer-with-the-naperville-park-districtfor more information and to register as a volunteer. A volunteer training session will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 7:00-8:00 p.m.  

Monarchs raised at Knoch Knolls Nature Center in 2016
 

 
 
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Celebrating Monarchs at Knoch Knolls Park
The Park District’s first-ever Monarch Festival brought more than 700 people to Knoch Knolls Park on Sept. 17 to celebrate and lea...
 
   
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