Celebrate pollinators with MDC at Monarch Mania June 9

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is partnering with Missourians for Monarchs, and other partner organizations, for an early celebration of National Pollinator Week at Runge Conservation Nature Center on Saturday, June 9. The educational, family-friendly event will take place 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visitors will have an opportunity to participate in a fun-filled day of hands-on activities for all ages, such as educational sessions, guided trail hikes, painting, games, crafts, and scavenger hunts.

“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.

“The dramatic decline in monarch populations in recent decades has made what was once a familiar sight and a frequent visitor to our neighborhoods, cities, and agricultural fields feel more like a long-lost friend,” said Monarch & Pollinator Coordinator Donnamarie Duffin with Missourians for Monarchs. “Missouri is a key state in restoring the habitat needed by monarchs and pollinators to help rebound their populations and protect our food supply; and because 93% of Missouri is privately-owned land, Missouri’s citizens are crucial to the monarch butterfly’s survival. Monarch Mania is an opportunity for Missourians of all ages to learn how you can help save this iconic creature.”

This event is FREE and all ages are invited to participate. No registration is needed. 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

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