Monarch Watch celebrates butterfly migration

Open house Saturday offers activities for all ages as insects begin to wing their way through area

A Monarch Butterfly alights on a sunflower near Tonganoxie. Monarchs are passing through this area on their annual fall migration to Mexico, and Monarch Watch at KU has a couple of events planned this month.

Saturday will bring an exciting viewing opportunity to Lawrence for insect lovers.

Monarch butterflies traveling from the north are arriving in Lawrence, and to celebrate their annual fall migration, the public is invited to an open house at Monarch Watch. The event is set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Foley Hall on Kansas University’s West Campus.

During the open house, 500 monarch pupae that will be placed in homes and schools and eventually emerge as beautiful butterflies will be given out to children while supplies last.

If that is not enough of an inspiration, the open house will also have show and tell events, tours of gardens and labs, hands-on activities, games, videos and monarch tagging demonstrations.

Chip Taylor, Kansas University professor of insect ecology, said it is an interesting and exciting event for children and families.

“We are trying to get some ‘oh, my!’ insects that people have never seen before,” Taylor said. “On a good day over 20 species of butterflies visit the garden.”

In addition, Monarch Watch is sponsoring a monarch butterfly tagging for the public from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 18 at the Baker Wetlands, along 31st Street between Haskell Avenue and Louisiana Street.

Both events are free and no experience is necessary.