As the monarch butterflies flutter through our area on their great fall migration, four organizations have joined to celebrate the unique beauty and the endangered existence of these remarkable insects. Beginning Saturday, Sept. 24, and continuing through October, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Shafer Gallery, Barton County Arts Council and the Barton County Historical Society will team to showcase the monarchs’ tale.
This Saturday, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, 592 NE K-156, will be absolutely "Mad about Monarchs" from 9 a.m. to noon. At this free event, participants will learn about monarchs and then head out with a tagging leader to tag and record data about captured monarchs. Master gardeners James and Betty Taylor, Hutchinson, will be on hand to provide information about plants that will attract butterflies to our gardens. And, there will be crafts and activities for the younger members of the family, as well as light refreshments for everyone.
The Barton County Historical Society, 85 South U.S. 281, is now inviting the public to bring in their favorite snapshots of monarchs for "Monarch Migration Mementos." Anyone, young or old, is welcome to provide a photo of any of the phases of a monarch’s life to exhibit at the Historical Society Museum during the month of October. Submissions will be accepted from now through the end of September.
On Oct. 2, the Shafer Gallery, 245 NE 30 Rd, will hold an opening reception and award prizes for "Endangered Journey: Monarch Migrations," a regional juried art show. In addition, they will feature the work of Dr. John Cody, "the Audobon of Moths," and "Bugging Out," new works by Ellinwood artist Robert Joy.
Beginning Oct. 4, the Barton County Arts Center, 1401 Main, Great Bend, will feature a variety of artworks created by area elementary school students as they learn about these insects and their life cycle. "Kids Love Butterflies," from eggs to caterpillars to pupae to butterflies, and the migratory journey of a monarch is a fascinating story and an education to our young people.