Monarch Festival to be held at Audubon Center

JAMESTOWN – From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Audubon will celebrate the monarch butterfly, a beautiful creature experiencing serious population decline.

As she does every year, Barbara Case, affectionately known at Audubon as “Monarch Mama,” has been leading other volunteers in raising monarchs throughout the summer for this annual event.

The results of their efforts will be on view in the Nature Center Auditorium that will be filled with wildflowers and monarchs in every stage of their life cycle, from tiny eggs through the caterpillar, chrysalis and beautiful butterflies. In one corner, volunteers will bring butterflies to people to hold.

Visitors can watch experts tag the butterflies with stickers and ask questions about raising them, growing milkweed (the only food of monarch caterpillars), planting a butterfly garden and establishing a monarch way station to help these beautiful travelers.

At 4 p.m.. the tagged butterflies will be released to fly to Mexico, where their tags will help scientists track the migration of this rapidly dwindling species.

More festival fun in-cludes tours of Audubon’s butterfly garden, a plant sale aimed at producing more milkweed, shopping at the Nature Store, exhibits of live fish, reptiles and amphibians outdoors, viewing Liberty – Audubon’s resident Bald Eagle – as well as the Ted Grisez arboretum and additional gardens.

Monarch butterfly tees for adults and kids as well as shirts featuring turtles, frogs and different animals will be available for sale.

Some kids T-shirts will come with insect collecting jars. Admission is $7 for the general public; $5 for Friends of the Nature Center; two and under are free.

The Audubon Center and Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren, Pa.

This event is made possible by the dedication of volunteers, several of whom are registered with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

Festival sponsors are Herbs R 4 U, Phoenix Met-al, United Refining, Weg-mans, Frewsburger Pizza Shop, King’s Heating and Sheet Metal and Lena’s Pizza. All proceeds benefit Audubon’s environmental education programs.

For details of the Monarch Festival, call 569-2345 or click on the program listing at jamestownaudubon.org/.