The monarch butterfly is an undeniably beautiful and essential icon on our packaging, just as it is a beautiful and vital member of the group of pollinators to which it belongs. An amazing migrator, the monarch butterfly treks across the same North American regions where our farms are located – from Canada through the United States to Mexico and back again. We feel a strong connection to the monarch butterfly and a sense of profound sadness that this magnificent creature may soon be endangered.
Along with bumblebees and other pollinators, the monarch butterfly is struggling because it is losing its natural habitat. Milkweed, in particular, is critical for the monarch butterfly’s survival. Pesticides, climate change, and other factors have significantly impacted the availability of milkweed and as a result, the monarch butterfly’s population numbers are rapidly declining.
Many national organizations, such as the National Wildlife Federation, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Geographic, are working to provide education and suggestions for ways to save the monarch butterfly. Gardeners can plant more native milkweed and nectar plants, to give the monarch butterfly the nutrients they need to survive and to reproduce. Reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides and gardening more organically can also contribute to a resurgence of the majestic monarch butterfly.
Festivals across the country are dedicated to education and promotion of the monarch butterfly and the challenges it faces. The 11th Annual Monarch Festival will be held at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, MN, on September 7. The festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s 2,300-mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico. The Audubon Louisiana Nature Center hosts Monarch Fest, which also features the award-winning film, Flight of the Butterflies. Monarch Fest will be held on September 14 at the Center, located in New Orleans, LA.
Okies for Monarchs hold many events throughout the year, including Monarchs in the Park scheduled for September 29 in Norman, OK. The organization is “An initiative of the Oklahoma Monarch & Pollinator Collaborative, a statewide group of 40+ organizations and citizens working together to ensure thriving Monarch migrations for generations to come.”
The Texas Butterfly Ranch will hold the 2019 Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival from October 18-20. The festivals feature “three fantastic days of science, education, art, and celebration,” taking place during the monarch butterfly’s peak migration season in San Antonio. The festival is timed to highlight the butterfly’s passage across Texas into Mexico for its winter season.
In Leamington, Ontario, Canada at Point Pelee National Park, starting mid-August a live monarch display is set up in the Visitor Centre. Point Pelee National Park is an incredible place to see thousands of monarchs stop along the migration route. There are so many monarchs at the park, in fact, that they have an annual Marvels of Monarch Migration where hundreds of people attend to count the monarchs at sunset as they rest before they begin their long journey south over Lake Erie. The date for the 2019 event is September 6, 2019. This year Point Pelee has added some additional monarch events to bring awareness and to educate the public on the importance of the monarch butterfly:
Another major thing that Point Pelee National Park does for the monarchs is inviting visitors to join the park staff every June for their Milkweed for Monarchs program where they plant milkweed to help build a strong habitat for them.
We encourage you to learn more about the monarch butterfly from these organizations and special events and to do what you can to help save the monarch. Though potentially endangered, the monarch butterfly continues to be the symbol of inspiration and intrigue. We connect with the monarch, representing it in our logo as it begins and ends its journey in each of our farm regions. As it continues to signify strength, endurance, and beauty, the monarch butterfly is a symbol of the quality of produce that you can rely on from Red Sun Farms.