There has been a lot of publicity lately about Monarchs with their recent classification as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. There have been estimates that the population of monarch butterflies in the eastern United States has declined between 85-95% since the 1990s.
Please Join us for the free Second Annual Monarch Festival on Saturday, September 17 from 9 am – 11 am in Wellington Park, West Newton (entrances on Kilburn Road and Princess Road). Monarchs were recently classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Learn about local efforts to help the Monarchs at the festival which will feature:
- Butterfly Oriented Kids Games, Activities, and Crafts
- Native milkweed seed and plant exchange
- Setting up a Monarch Waystation
- Pollinator Garden Tours at Wellington Park (9:15, 10:15 am)
- Live Monarchs at various stages from caterpillar to butterfly
- How to Raise Monarchs
- Monarch Tagging demonstration
- Butterfly release (9:55, 10:55 am)
- Free Drawing for Butterfly Related Prizes
Kids have a natural fascination with nature and butterflies and will enjoy seeing the live caterpillars, the chrysalis stage, and some just emerged adult Monarchs which will be tagged and released. The Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture Department will have a variety of butterfly themed games, craft projects, activities, and coloring sheets.
If you have milkweed plants, seeds, or seed pods to share please bring them along to our Exchange table. Please label seeds (in small bags or envelopes) and plants according to the type of milkweed. We will provide a general sheet with planting instructions and guidelines. Monarchs rely on Milkweed for their survival (for laying eggs and as food for their caterpillar stage.) Tour the local gardens with native milkweed and other pollinator plants. Meet and learn from local Monarch experts – those who maintain official Monarch Waystations and who raise Monarchs free from predators for release using very simple supplies.
Get to know and recognize the three typical milkweed for our region – Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, and Butterfly Weed. We will have tours of the Monarch Butterfly Garden next to the tennis court in Wellington Park which has these three types of milkweed as well as other flowers and plants attractive to Monarchs. In addition, the Wellington Park Garden bordering Kilburn Road also has a variety of milkweed and other attractive pollinator plants and is maintained by volunteers from the Friends of Wellington Park.
There are a number of folks in Newton who look for Monarch eggs on milkweed and collect the eggs to raise – free from predators – in a process that takes about a month from egg to caterpillar. Many will be on hand and will be happy to share their methods and tips for raising Monarchs involving very simple supplies. Many of the people in Newton who maintain official Monarch Waystations (that are gardens containing milkweed and other pollinator plants to help sustain the Monarch population) will be present as well.
Mid-September is a peak time for migrating Monarchs which are now making their way to the central mountains of Mexico to spend the winter. The organization, Monarch Watch, has been supplying tiny tags to citizen volunteers to attach to the wings of migrating monarchs to research their migration routes. We will have newly hatched Monarchs that will be ready to release for their journey south and there will be a demonstration of how to tag them.
The Newton Monarch Festival is FREE to attend and is being co-sponsored by Newton Conservators, Friends of Wellington Park, and the Newton Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department. Visit our Monarch and Milkweed web page at https://newtonconservators.org/monarchs-milkweed/ where you can find links to lots of other Monarch and Milkweed information. For more information contact Ted Kuklinski from the Newton Conservators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can download a PDF of the Newton Monarch Festival Flyer here: Newton Monarch Festival 2022 Flyer
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING
Wellington Park is located in West Newton a few blocks north of West Newton Square. It is not directly located on any major streets. There are two entrances to the park – on Kilburn Road and another on Princess Road (near Princess and Lindbergh Ave). It should be noted that parking is only permitted on the southbound side of Kilburn Road since it is relatively narrow. Henshaw Street, Henshaw Place and Henshaw Terrace, Lindbergh Avenue, Southgate Park, Northgate Park, and Byrd Ave are all nearby streets where you can find on-street parking. These other streets in the neighborhood do not have parking restrictions but it would be courteous to neighbors to park on the same side as you see most other cars. Note: There will be a 3-5 yr old youth soccer program on-going about the same time at Wellington Park so you may have to find parking on streets other than Kilburn Road.
We will have a number of interesting focused sessions such as garden tours, butterfly releases, and milkweed and monarch raising sessions at the festival and these may occur multiple times. Kids craft and activities will be generally ongoing. Currently we are planning Garden Tours at 9:15 am and 10:15 am and Butterfly Releases at 9:55 am and 10:55 am.