Photo courtesy of JCPRD
Celebrating the monarch butterfly’s amazing annual migration is the aim of a workshop set for Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s Ernie Miller Park, 909 N. Kansas 7 Highway, Olathe. Social distancing and COVID-19 safe practices will be encouraged during this program.
Monarch Migration Workshop is the name of the program, which is for children ages eight and up accompanied by a parent or guardian. Participants will learn about monarchs and other amazing native butterflies, and join in capturing, tagging, and releasing some monarchs to continue their migration to Mexico. Wear long pants to protect legs and closed-toed shoes to protect your feet. Due to a limited number of insect nets, you are welcome to bring your own, and you will get two tags to use onsite or take home.
To find this program in the district’s online listings at JCPRD.com, browse first under fun for all and then under nature & outdoors. When using the website’s advanced search, look for the keywords “nature and outdoors.”
This event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost for the two-hour event is $6 per person, including adults, for Johnson County residents, or $7 per person for nonresidents if paid in advance. Onsite on the day of the event, if space is available, the cost is $9 per person. To take advantage of the advance registration prices, please register by Sept. 9. To register by phone or for more information, call (913) 826-2800. To register online, visit the district’s website at www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and perform a course ID search for 38320.
Drawn by late-blooming flowers in a prairie remnant which was restored in the park a number of years ago, hundreds of butterflies each year make stops from their southern migration at Ernie Miller Park during early September. Typically, about 80 percent of these visitors have been monarchs, but there have been other species as well, including painted ladies and sulfur butterflies. The butterflies are being drawn by the tall purple blooms of the gayfeather plant, as well as by other prairie plants, including goldenrod and sunflowers. Many of these plants have come up naturally following prairie restoration projects completed in late 2002 in conjunction with Kansas City Wildlands. Those projects removed a number of large eastern red cedar trees which previously choked out the sun-loving prairie plants.