Monarchs

Monarch Migration Month – September 2018photo of monarch on zinnias

Although monarch butterflies born in the summer will live only a few weeks, the generation that emerges in late summer and early fall is different.  These butterflies are born to migrate and may live up to eight or nine months.  From the Asheville/Hendersonville area, their epic journey to the mountains of Mexico covers at least 2,000 miles. Mid-September through early October is the best time to watch for an abundance of migrating monarch butterflies leaving from and passing through our region.  In observance of this wonderous natural phenomenon, Bee City USA - Hendersonville, a program of the City of Hendersonville Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board, and Bee City USA - Asheville, a program of Asheville GreenWorks, have partnered with local certified Bee Campus USA education institutions, schools, gardens, and other organizations to offer a series of monarch programs during the peak migration season.  International monarch expert and educator, Estela Romero, from the town of Angangueo in Michoacán, Mexico will be making a week-long educational tour visiting classrooms as well as giving four community presentations open to the public. 

Three community monarch education programs are being offered in the Hendersonville area.

 

Bullington Gardens logoA Monarch’s Journey: From NC to Mexico and Backphoto of monarchs

Monday, September 24, 4:30 - 6:00 PM
Presented by: Bullington Gardens, Hendersonville Bee City USA, Asheville Bee City USA

Join Kim Bailey, a local educator and farmer who runs Milkweed Meadows Farm in Fruitland, NC, and Estela Romero, a monarch educator and journalist who works in the overwintering sanctuaries near her home in Angangueo, Michoacán, for an up-close and personal view of the monarch’s remarkable life cycle and epic migration. Together, Kim and Estela will share their deep passion and knowledge of these winged wonders on the journey from Mexico to NC and back again.
Audience: All ages. 
Location: Bullington Gardens, 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville
Cost: $15
Registration:  Please call (828) 698-6104 to register or register online.

flight of the butterflies imageFlight of the Butterflies Movie Screening

Thursday, September 27, 6:00 PM doors open / 6:30 PM program begins
Presented by: Blue Ridge Community College, Conserving Carolina, Hendersonville Bee City USA, Asheville Bee City USA, Mountain True

Come celebrate the local migration of monarchs at Blue Ridge Community College with a special screening of “Flight of the Butterflies”.  This awe-inspiring film tells the story of extraordinary insect endurance and human perseverance. Viewers will learn about the remarkable annual life cycle and migration of the monarch butterfly as well as the determined Canadian scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to determine exactly where the butterflies went after mysteriously disappearing each fall. Described as “a natural history epic and a compelling detective story,” this interconnected scientific adventure spans not only thousands of miles, but generations.  The award-winning production team filmed hundreds of millions of monarchs in their remote overwintering sanctuaries in Mexico and along their migratory routes from Canada, across the U.S. and into Mexico.  Following the screening, international monarch butterfly expert and educator, Estela Romero, will make a special presentation with time for questions and answers about her home near the monarch’s overwintering sanctuaries in the mountains of Mexico.  Estela will also share her family’s memories of experiences with monarchs prior to their “discovery” and revelation to the rest of the world in 1976. Learn more about what you can do to help monarchs and other pollinators by visiting the Bee City USA/Bee Campus USA, MountainTrue, and Conserving Carolina exhibit tables.  Conserving Carolina will provide a free native milkweed plant (limit of 1 per household, please) to the first 50 attendees to come by! Planting milkweed helps monarchs by providing leaves for their caterpillars to eat as well as nectar to help the fuel the flight of adult butterflies.photo of milkweed
Audience: All ages
Location: Blue Ridge Community College - Thomas Auditorium (in Sink Building), 130 Eagles Reach Drive, Flat Rock
Cost: Free!
Registration: None required.

symbolic migration logoSymbolic Monarch Migration to Mexico

Tuesday, September 25 – Saturday, September 29, 10 AM – 5 PM

Presented by: Hands-On! Children’s Museum and Hendersonville Bee City USA

Send a Monarch to Mexico! Visitors to Hands-On! Children’s Museum are invited to participate in the 23rd annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration.  Join more than 60,000 children from across the United States and Canada in creating paper butterflies to send to Mexico for the winter.  The symbolic butterflies’ fall flight is timed to correspond with the living monarchs’ journey south.  As the real monarchs arrive in Mexico for the winter, Estela Romero will deliver the symbolic butterflies to schools in the monarch sanctuary region. Sometime in March after the real monarchs’ departure from Mexico, a group of paper butterflies will return north to Hands-On! Children’s Museum, carrying special messages from the students in Mexico.  United by the monarch butterfly, children across North America learn authentic lessons of conservation, cooperation, and ambassadorship. Join the celebration! 
Audience: Children of all ages
Location: Hands-On! Children’s Museum, 318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville 
Cost: Free with the cost of admission ($5 + tax for children ages 1-17 and adults 18+. Free for children under 1 and members.)
Registration: None required

 

There are also two community monarch education programs being offered in Asheville:

NC arboretum logoMonarch Conservation Mini-Symposium

Saturday, September 22, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Presented by: The North Carolina Arboretum, Hendersonville Bee City USA, Asheville Bee City USA

Help save “the king of butterflies!” Join environmental leaders from The North Carolina Arboretum and Bee City USA along with international monarch butterfly expert, Estela Romero, and cutting-edge monarch population researchers, Dr. Nickolay Hristov and Dr. Louise Allen, for a special monarch conservation mini-symposium. Learn about these fluttering beauties, their habitats and migration patterns, along with the latest research and methods to help conserve these essential pollinators. Following the symposium, participants are invited to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway in search of monarchs along their migration route to Mexico. 
Audience:  Adults. This in-depth program with be of special interest to nature buffs, butterfly enthusiasts, wildlife conservationists, citizen scientists, pollinator gardeners, master naturalists, native plant devotees, etc. as well as teachers and youth leaders who wish to learn more about projects to help monarchs.Photo of Monarchs resting on a limb
Location: The North Carolina Arboretum - Education Center, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
Cost: $35 for Arboretum Society members and $40 for non-members. Lunch and parking are included with your registration.
Registration:  Space is limited so pre-registration is required.  Register online

flight of the butterflies logoFlight of the Butterflies Movie Screening

Saturday, September 22, 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Presented by: The North Carolina Arboretum, Hendersonville Bee City USA, Asheville Bee City USA

Come celebrate “Monarch Month” at The North Carolina Arboretum with a special screening of “Flight of the Butterflies.”  This awe-inspiring film tells the story of extraordinary insect endurance and human perseverance. Viewers will learn about the remarkable migration of the monarch butterfly and the determined scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart, who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter. This interconnected scientific adventure story spans not only thousands of miles, but generations. Following the screening, international monarch butterfly expert, Estela Romero, will host a special Q&A focused around her hometown of Angangueo, Mexico and the nearby and monarch overwintering sanctuaries.
Audience: All ages
Location: The North Carolina Arboretum - Education Center, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
Cost: Free, however standard Arboretum parking fees apply ($14 per personal vehicle).  Parking is free for Arboretum Society members. Parking fees will also be waived for participants who attended the Monarch Conservation Mini-Symposium earlier in the day. 
Registration: Pre-registration is required.  Register online.

 

In addition to the above Monarch Migration Month events presented by the Hendersonville and Asheville affiliates of Bee City USA and their partners, the following other local monarch education events may also be of interest:

photo of NC ArboretumMonarch Butterfly Dayphoto of monarch on flower

Saturday, September 8, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Presented by: The North Carolina Arboretum
Known for their stately colors and elegant wings, millions of monarch butterflies travel more than 2,000 miles from across North America to Mexico each fall, where they cluster in about a dozen small areas. Unfortunately, the monarch population has declined from 556 million in 2004 to a historic low of 33.5 million in 2014. This is due to the butterflies’ dramatic loss of habitat and food sources, including the milkweed plant. As part of a national effort to stave off the decline of monarch butterflies, The North Carolina Arboretum will host its fourth annual Monarch Butterfly Day inside the Arboretum’s Education Center and throughout its gardens. As part of this free event, participants will learn ways to help monarch butterflies, have the opportunity to purchase milkweed, create make-and-take butterfly crafts and witness monarch butterfly releases. Complete Details
Audience: All ages
Location: The North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville
Cost: Free, however standard Arboretum parking fees apply ($14 per personal vehicle).  Parking is free for Arboretum Society members. 
Registration:  None required.

Cradle of Forestry signBring Back the Monarchs

Saturday, September 16, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Presented by: The Cradle of Forestry

Migratory monarch butterflies are heading south this time of year. You can learn how to help them survive through their big journey.  “Bring Back the Monarchs” is a nationwide campaign thru the nonprofit, Monarch Watch. The goals of this program are to restore 20 milkweed species, used by monarch caterpillars as food, to their native ranges throughout the United States and to encourage the planting of nectar-producing native flowers that support adult monarchs and other pollinators. The Monarch Waystation initiative encourages participation in conservation of these butterflies at any sites across the nation. Complete Details
Location:  The Cradle of Forestry, 11250 Pisgah Highway, Pisgah Forest
Cost: Regular admission rates apply.
Audience: All ages.
Registration:  None required.