Kansas City, Mo. – Early autumn is a good time to watch monarch butterflies. Locally emerged monarch butterflies mingle with migrants headed south toward wintering grounds in Mexico. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer free programs during September to give people a close look at the butterflies and their ecology.
MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will host Monarch Mania 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 4750 Troost Ave in Kansas City. Visitors can learn about monarch butterflies, their role as pollinators, and their journeys through the area. Participants can help apply small paper tags with ID numbers to monarch wings. When tags are found and reported, it helps scientists track monarch movements and population numbers. Monarchs lay eggs on milkweed, and milkweed giveaways will be offered. Youth activities will also be available.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation has organized a native grass and wildflower plant sale for the Sept. 15 monarch event at the Discovery Center. Vendors will be offering plants for sale. Native plants make excellent hosts for butterflies and moths through their egg, larvae, pupae, and adult emergence stages. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit prairie conservation in Missouri. Contacts for placing advance orders for pickup at the Discovery Center can be found by visiting https://moprairie.org.
The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will offer Monarch Magic 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 1401 N.W. Park Road. Participants will learn about the monarch migrations to Mexico and have a chance to be a citizen scientist by tagging a monarch. For more information, call Burr Oak Woods at 861-228-3766.
For more information about Gorman Discovery Center and the butterfly program, visit http://mdc.mo.gov/discoverycenter. Information about Burr Oak Woods Nature Center is at http://mdc.mo.gov/burroakwoods.