Learn about monarch butterflies – and learn how to help

By The Examiner staff

This month, as the annual southward migration of the monarch butterfly occurs, the Missouri Department of Conservation will present programs explain the monarch’s life, migration and the ways in which it impacts our area. 

Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed for important parts of their life cycle.

All programs are free. Some are in-person, and some are virtual. They include: 

Sept. 7 

• Citizen Science: Monarch SOS!, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center, 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, 816-759-7300. This program, designed for those 9 and older, will explain how to use your phone or tablet to help gather information about monarchs in our area. Registration is required; go to mdc.mo.gov/events. 

Sept. 8 and 15 

• Insects: Monarch Mania, Tagging, 9 to 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 12 noon, Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. This program is designed for all ages. Tagging monarchs is a large-scale citizen science effort that began in 1992 and has helped lead to an understanding of monarch migration. Learn how to use nets to capture, tag, and release the butterflies. Registration required; go to mdc.mo.gov/events . 

Sept. 11 

• Monarch Mania, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. A walk-in program for all ages, with hands-on activities. There will be monarchs to tag and release, milkweed giveaways and more. 

Sept. 14 

• Insects: Monarch Magic (virtual program), 6 to 6:30 p.m. Lean about the monarch’s life cycle. This program is best for persons ages 5 and older.  

Register with a valid email address and you will receive a link to the program on or before Sept. 13. Registration is required by Sept. 14 for this virtual program and can be done by visiting https://mdc-event-web.s3licensing.com/Event/EventDetails/179575 or by calling the Department of Conservation during business hours at 888-283-0364. 

Sept. 15 

• Discover Nature: Monarch Magic, (virtual program) 1 to 2 p.m. Learn about the pollinator role of the monarch as well as the story of the monarch’s migration to Mexico. Information will also be provided as to how to provide a good habitat for monarchs while they visit our area. Register at mdc.mo.gov/events with an active email address and a link to the virtual program will be sent to you. 

Sept. 18  

• Discover Nature: Monarch Magic: 1 to 3 p.m., Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center,1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs, 816-228-7300. A program for all ages. Explore the monarch’s lifecycle and migration and have a chance to become a citizen scientist by tagging monarchs and tracking their journey. Registration is required by Sept. 17 and can be completed at mdc.mo.gov/events.