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Port to host butterfly party in new garden PDF Print E-mail
Daily News
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 18:58

Saturday event featuring monarch release, demonstrations is part of mayor’s effort to encourage the creation and protection of threatened pollinators

    Butterflies will fly on gossamer wings through downtown Port Saturday, Aug. 26, as the city’s Environmental Planning Committee holds a monarch party.
    The party will run from 1 to 2 p.m. in front of City Hall, where a butterfly garden has been planted.
    Hundreds of monarch butterflies raised by Shelly Culea will be released during the event, Mayor Tom Mlada said.
    Participants will also be able to see exhibits on the various stages in a monarch’s life, from egg to larva to caterpillar, as well as the chrysalis and finally the mature butterfly.
    There will be demonstrations on how to tag a butterfly and information about raising monarchs and what plants will attract and feed them.
    A butterfly cake and ice cream will also be part of the event.
    The party is part of the “Mayor’s Monarch Pledge,” approved earlier this year by the Common Council.
    It’s a pledge that was eagerly taken up by the Environmental Planning Committee, Mlada said, particularly by Culea and fellow committee members Freda van den Broek and Jon Crain.
    Mlada proposed the council approve the pledge, noting the butterfly is a prolific pollinator as well as an iconic insect known for its black and orange markings.
    The butterfly migrates roughly 2,300 miles annually, heading from the northern United States and Canada to Mexico in fall.
    But, Mlada noted, monarchs are also a threatened insect. The resolution approved by the Common Council says that the World Wildlife Fund found the North American population has declined by 90% over the past 20 years and the winter colonies in Mexico cover only 1.65 acres of forest, compared to the almost 45 acres they occupied in 1996.
    A major reason for the reduced population — a lack of milkweed, the only plant monarchs lay their eggs on and a primary source of food for the larva.
    The council resolution urges people to build and protect monarch habitats, including milkweed, so the monarch population can return to its previous levels. Daily Press