In the fall, Monarch butterflies migrate much like birds, flying 1,000 to 3,000 miles from states such as Illinois to the Oyamel Fir Forests of Central Mexico. Their spring and fall migration is considered a phenomenon of nature because they travel farther than all tropical butterflies.
Three upcoming local events will teach more about these regal insects and offer us ways to help them.
Migrating Monarchs Celebration: noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. This is a family event with activities, crafts, and displays to trace the Monarch migration route. West Cook Wild Ones will be there to teach families how to help these pollinators thrive. This is a free, drop-in event.
Monarch Tagging: 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. , at the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., in Oak Park. Janie Grillo, a butterfly enthusiast, invites aspiring citizen scientists to join the tag team for Monarch Watch, a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas. At the end of the class, Monarchs will be tagged and released, weather permitting. Cost is $20 for Oak Park residents and $30 for non-residents. Register here.
Green Community Connections Tree and Shrub Sale: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in the parking lot across from Euclid Methodist Church, 405 S. Euclid, in Oak Park. Good Earth Greenhouse will sell native plants, including milkweed plants. Monarch larvae (caterpillars) feed exclusively on milkweed. For more information about the sale, go here. (While grasses and native plants are available for purchase on the 24th, all trees and shrubs must be pre-ordered in advance by Sept. 18.)