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: https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Campfire-Cindy-Watson/dp/B07DSDFC66.
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:
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.