JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is partnering with Missourians for Monarchs and other organizations to celebrate National Pollinator Week at Runge Conservation Nature Center on Thursday, June 22. The educational, family-friendly event will take place 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Visitors will have an opportunity to participate in a fun-filled day of hands-on activities such as painting, coloring, educational sessions, native plantings, field tours, and games about monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
“Monarchs are a poster child for several species of pollinators in Missouri, including 450 native species of bees, many of which have had serious population declines – up to 90% -- over the last twenty years,” said MDC Private Land Agriculture Liaison Brent Vandeloecht. “That’s important to everyone because one out of three mouthfuls of food is directly attributed to the work of our pollinator species.”
Staff and volunteers from the nature center, University of Missouri, Lincoln University, Missouri Department of Transportation, USDA-NRCS, and various non-governmental organizations will present information on what these butterflies, and other pollinators do for people, and how Missourians can help them survive.
“Monarch butterflies and other pollinating insects are vitally important to native habitats as well as agricultural systems. They provide services that can’t be replicated,” said Jason Jenkins with Missourians for Monarchs. “Beyond that, the world is just a more interesting place with monarch butterflies in it. Unless we act, this species could disappear forever. Fortunately, we can all play a role to ensure that monarchs flourish for generations to come. This event is a perfect opportunity to learn more about one of nature’s most magical and mysterious creatures and how you can help.”
This event is FREE and all ages are invited to participate. Runge Conservation Nature Center is located at 330 Commerce Drive in Jefferson City. For directions, or more information about the event, call the nature center at (573) 526-5544 or visit nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/places/runge-conservation-nature-center.