Monarch festival puts threatened butterflies in spotlight


Conservation nonprofit Little River Wetlands will host the Monarch Festival 1-5 p.m. Sept. 9 at Eagle Marsh Nature Preserve, 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne.

Through this event, Little River Wetlands hopes to bring attention to the threatened monarch butterflies, which travel more than 2,800 miles from Mexican forests to Canada each year.

The butterflies’ annual migration has been called one of the greatest natural phenomena in the insect world. This long-distance, multigeneration migration – and the part area gardens and preserves play in reducing the threats to monarchs – is the focus of the 2018 Monarch Festival at Eagle Marsh.

“Our goal for the Monarch Festival is to help people learn about these butterflies, have fun along the way, and understand how they can help in conserving their habitat,” said Amy Silva, executive director of the nonprofit.

Highlighting monarchs’ life cycle and transformation, the Monarch Festival includes a variety of programs and activities including displays of live monarchs at different stages of their life cycle; monarch butterfly tagging prior to release; and educational presentations, outdoor learning stations and hands-on activities for all ages

Local author Kylee Baumle will sign her award-winning book, The Monarch: Saving Our Most-Loved Butterfly.

The festival will also feature hikes on interpretive trails lined with tall native wildflowers to watch these butterflies nectaring or roosting almost close enough to touch.

Visitors will be offered varieties of milkweed, the only plant on which monarchs lay their eggs, to plant either at Eagle Marsh or take home.

Visitors will also have a chance to shop at the festival’s farmers market, which will feature pollinator-friendly products such as local honey and native plants. Young Urban Homesteaders will offer locally grown, seasonal food for purchase.

This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or check out the Monarch Festival’s Facebook event page.