Thursday, August 25, 2022

Paul Smith’s VIC to host free Monarch Fest on Sept. 3

The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently added the migratory monarch butterfly, known for their flight to California and Mexico during the winter, to their “Red List,” a compilation of animals that they deem endangered. The native populations of this butterfly have shrunk by at least 22% in the past decade, due to numerous  factors, including deforestation, pesticides, and climate change.


Deforestation in Mexico and California to clear the way for urban spaces, has destroyed much of the monarch’s shelter. Pesticides and herbicides used in large-scale agriculture have killed butterflies and milkweed, the plant that the larvae feed off of. Drought, wildfires, and extreme weather and temperatures caused by climate change has also damaged these butterflies’ homes, as well as killed many of them.


In celebration of these beautiful creatures, Paul Smith’s VIC has organized a Monarch Fest which is scheduled for September 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Events included are:

  • A tour of our butterfly house, where you can admire monarch butterflies and watch a demonstration on how they are tagged.
  • 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.– Children’s author and illustrator Maxwell Eaton III reading his book The Truth About Butterflies. (See below for additional information about this event)
  • 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. – Child-friendly music by Cindy Watson. Listen to samples of her music at:
Author Maxwell Eaton III’s The Truth About Butterflies Book Reading:

“The Truth About Butterflies” With Children’s Author Maxwell Eaton III at Paul Smith’s VIC. Paul Smith’s VIC website photo.


Children’s author and illustrator Maxwell Eaton III will be at the VIC to read his book The Truth About Butterflies, another hilarious addition to his fan favorite series. It’s a funny, informational book about what butterflies are really like. This guide to the majestic butterfly walks you through its unique life cycle and offers anything you ever wanted to know about the colorful insect. Other books of his include Bear Builds a House, Bear Goes Sugaring, The Truth About Your Favorite Animals series, The Flying Beaver Brothers graphic novel series, Okay Andy, and more. When he isn’t writing or drawing, he can be found chasing chickens in the Adirondack Mountains with his partner and two children.

Child-friendly music by Cindy Watson:

Child-friendly music by Cindy Watson at Paul Smith’s VIC. Paul Smith’s VIC website photo.

Join us at the VIC to listen to children’s music by artist Cindy Watson. Cindy grew up in a family that loved to go camping and sing songs around the campfire. As a child, she attended summer camps where she learned many traditional folk songs. Working as an outdoor educator, and then a teacher, Cindy used her talents as a singer and guitar player to enhance the lives of children. She has recorded 2 children’s albums: “Sing and Learn”, and “The Portable Campfire.” Her 3 children are her biggest fans. Cindy continues to play to groups of children and adults in many venues including libraries, campfires and schools. Cindy is currently a retired teacher. She enjoys all the beauty and activities that the Adirondacks offer with her husband Jim and their dog Tilley.

More about the Butterfly House:

Butterfly House, Paul Smith’s VIC.Paul Smith’s VIC website photo.

The Breck Chapin Memorial Native Species Butterfly House features butterflies and moths in all stages of development. The Butterfly House is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week throughout the summer (through October 23, 2022). weather permitting. The Butterfly House is adjacent to the Paul Smith’s College Visitor Information Center. If you would like to support the Butterfly House, please consider a donation. Visitors can view native butterflies up close and learn about the life stages and migratory patterns of these colorful insects. Butterfly House volunteers are available to point out the species of butterflies in the house that day, provide information on the insect’s life cycle, and identify specific plants that are favored by each species. Inside the Butterfly House, there are nectar plants for food and host plants for egg-laying and caterpillar feeding. There are also touch boxes and information handouts on butterflies and moths. Outside the Butterfly House is the Frank Hutchins Butterfly Garden, a garden designed to attract butterflies and named to honor the late Frank Hutchins, a longtime supporter of the Paul Smith’s VIC.


Paul Smith’s VIC is located at 8023 State Route 30 in Paul Smiths, NY.

For more information, call (518) 327-6241, email or visit

Photo at top: Monarch butterfly. Paul Smith’s VIC website photo.


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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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