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Monarch Madness promises fun for all

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly

The Missouri Department of Conservation along with the U.S. Department of Energy and Missourians for Monarchs will celebrate monarch butterfly migration with Monarch Madness from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the DOE Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center in St. Charles.  The event is free and open to all ages.

The festival is free and will offer an interactive and fun way to learn about pollinator declines and what people can do to help.

Crafts, games, exhibits, native garden demonstrations, butterfly tagging, food trucks, music and more are featured. Visitors can purchase native plants and get helpful advice on how to grow monarch-sustaining plants at home. Guests can also hike the site’s 150-acre restored Howell Prairie.

More than 75 percent of the Earth’s flowering plants depend on pollinators. It’s a relationship vital to the survival of each of us. One out of every three bites of food we eat exists because of pollinating insects.

Pollinator decline in the recent past is a source of growing concern among scientists. It’s estimated that in the last 20 years, monarch populations have plummeted more than 80 percent. Dwindling habitat for these colorful butterflies is believed to be the source of the drop.

Planting backyard butterfly gardens can help monarch populations recover. Establishing milkweed and nectar plants also can give them a boost on their long journey. Monarch Madness will help visitors learn how they can make a difference.

Limited parking will be available on-site. Additional parking is available at neighboring Francis Howell High with a short, half-mile walk along the gravel Hamburg Trail to the site.

The Weldon Spring Interpretive Site is located at 7295 Highway 94, approximately two miles south of I-64/40. For more information, call (636) 300-2600.

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