Monarch butterflies topic of Sept. 17 event at Midwest Museum of Natural History

A monarch butterfly on a coneflower. (Photo provided)

Staff Report

SYCAMORE, Ill. — It’s a cycle we all know by heart: the caterpillar hatches from the egg, goes into a chrysalis, and emerges as a butterfly. But there’s much more to it than meets the eye!

Join Sycamore’s Midwest Museum of Natural History for “Monarchs” from 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 17. Cost is $4 per person, plus museum admission ($5 children and seniors, $6 adults). Museum members pay $3 per person. No registration is required.

Monarch Watch is a network of students, teachers, volunteers and researchers dedicated to the study of monarch butterflies.

Janie Grillo, Monarch Watch volunteer, presents a family-friendly program about the monarch butterfly. See live monarchs in different stages of life, learn about their amazing migration to Mexico, the process of butterfly tagging, and find out how you can attract butterflies to your own yard. If it is a sunny day, the program will conclude with a butterfly release.

This program is for ages 5 to adult. Grillo will bring displays, butterfly supplies and reference material. Butterfly activities will be provided for the youngest guests, and every attendee will have the opportunity to create a personalized paper monarch to add to the museum’s “Journey North” project.

Through Journey North, students across the United States and Canada send symbolic butterflies to Mexico each fall. Children at the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico receive the butterflies and send batches back in the spring.

The museum has been raising monarchs all summer, taking about 50 from egg to adult.

Everything about them is impressive — especially their appetite,” said Museum Director Molly Holman. “If you haven’t paid much attention to butterflies since childhood, this event is a great opportunity to be amazed.”

The nonprofit Midwest Museum of Natural History is at 425 W. State St., Sycamore, Ill. Visit or call (815) 895-9777.

From the Sept. 14-20, 2011, issue

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