Please Join us for the free Third Annual Newton Monarch Festival on Saturday, September 9 from 9 am – 11 am (rain date, September 10) in Wellington Park, West Newton (entrances on Kilburn Road and Princess Road).
Monarchs were classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature last year. 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
- Live Monarchs at various stages from caterpillar to butterfly
- How to Raise Monarchs
- Monarch Tagging demonstration
- Butterfly releases
- 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. We will have a variety of butterfly themed games, arts & craft projects, activities, and coloring sheets courtesy of Newton Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department.
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 a tour of the Monarch Butterfly Garden / Monarch Waystation next to the tennis court in Wellington Park which has these various types of milkweed as well as other flowers and plants attractive to Monarchs led by Mark Feldhusen. In addition, there will be a tour led by master gardener, Ann Dorfman, of the main Wellington Park Garden bordering Kilburn Road which also has a variety of milkweed and other attractive pollinator plants. These gardens are maintained by Friends of Wellington Park.
There are a number of Monarch enthusiasts in Newton who look for eggs on milkweed and collect them to raise – free from predators – in a process that takes about a month from egg to caterpillar. Some, including Kim Devore (the “Monarch Lady of Cabot Street”), will be on hand and 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.
September is a peak time for migrating Monarchs which would be 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 likely 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! The event is sponsored by the Newton Conservators, Newton Parks Recreation and Culture Department, Green Newton, and Friends of Wellington Park. 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 email@example.com.
Here’s an article about last year’s festival in the the Winter 2023 Newton Conservators Newsletter.
You may also be interested in the inaugural Newton Pollinator Garden Tour, scheduled on Sunday, September 10, 2023 from 1-4 pm at Wellington Park, City Hall and Cold Spring Park.
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.
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 and there may be a storytelling session and some butterfly related games. In case of rain, please check this website for updates. The rain date will be Sunday, September 10, from 9 – 11 am.
For a growing event like this we would love to have some volunteer help. If you have milkweed seeds or plants to share, please bring them along – labeling would be most helpful. Perhaps you like to hand out information or register attendees or help with crafts and games. If you have some caterpillars consider bringing them to show. If you have newly hatched monarchs, consider bringing them for release at the festival. Or maybe you have a prize for our giveaway drawing at the end of the festival. If any of this interests you please email Ted Kuklinski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a poster for the Festival. Feel free to download and post.