- by Wendy Sullivan, photos by Dena Temple
Tagging fragile butterflies with devices that will monitor and track their activities wouldn’t have been possible even a few years ago. Now it’s just one of the exciting activities planned for the Butterflies in the Pass Festival. Festival goers can also learn more about this cutting-edge technology from guest speaker Trecia Neal from Monarch Watch in Georgia, who will explain how participants can become involved in the science of tracking butterflies.
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:
- Hands-on activities
- Insect exhibits
- Story walk
- Rock painting
- Information tables
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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