The first weekend in October offers a fun family opportunity to learn about saving our Monarch butterflies – one caterpillar at a time.
- by Wendy Sullivan, photos by Dena Temple
Hosted by the Pass Christian Public Library and Pass Christian Main Street, the Butterflies in the Pass Monarch Festival will be held on Saturday, October 2, 2021, 10 am-1 pm at War Memorial Park, Fleitas and Scenic Drive, Pass Christian.
The second annual festival was founded by Pass Christian Public Library’s head librarian Wendy Allard and an enthusiastic group of library staff, volunteers, and Pass Christian Garden Club members – all passionate about butterflies and pollinator plants. Their goal, according to Allard, who is serving as festival coordinator, is to “celebrate and educate our community about Monarch butterflies and other pollinators – their benefits, their life cycles, and what we can do to help them thrive.”
Allard says attendees will also learn about creating “mini-meadows” in their own yards. Literature will be distributed at the festival to encourage others to join the mini-meadow program.
Bay St. Louis resident Mary Pyles, vice president of the Hancock County Master Gardeners, plans to help staff an information table for the group, sharing gardening information from the MSU Extension Service.
“I am thrilled to learn more about pollinators for different butterflies,” said Pyles. “The Monarch caterpillars who visited my milkweed this summer really piqued my interest.”
Pyles has been a regular visitor to the butterfly house at Ruth’s Roots Community Garden in Bay St. Louis. When her caterpillars consumed all of her milkweed, she shared them with the community garden in hopes they would thrive. She is developing a pollinator bed at the Bay St. Louis Community Garden on Bookter Street as well, where she plans to use information from the festival to nurture and support additional butterflies and caterpillars.
Allard explained this year the festival will start with a butterfly parade at 10 am. Additional scheduled activities include:
Guest speakers include Pat Drackett from the MSU Extension (Crosby Arboretum), who will speak at 10:30 am on “Native Milkweed for Monarchs;” and Trecia Neal at 11:30 am with her presentation, “Conserving and Monitoring Monarchs.”
A festival for all ages, people are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and dress in butterfly themed costumes! The Market in the Park will also take place during the festival and will have butterfly-themed items for sale.
Allard and her volunteers are hoping for a large turnout this year so they can share their passion with a wider audience and garner more support for the lovely insects. Butterflies just make people happy!” said Allard.
Additional information about the festival can be obtained at Pass Christian Public Library at 228-452-4596 or email email@example.com.
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