The public is welcome at Little River Wetlands Project's 2011 Monarch Festival and Open House at Eagle Marsh on Saturday, September 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. This free, family-friendly event will celebrate the monarch butterfly, thousands of which are likely to be enjoying a banquet of wildflowers at the preserve during their fall migration. The festival and open house will be held at the Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne.
Every year, monarch butterflies make a 2,500-mile migration to over-wintering grounds high in the mountains of Mexico—the only insect capable of making such a trip, due to their unique life cycle and wing structure. They fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees.
"Our Monarch Festival is designed to highlight this amazing butterfly's trip, and the role that wetlands can play in supporting the monarchs' life cycle," says Sean Nolan, LRWP's executive director. "At the festival, guests will tour Eagle Marsh's nature trails to view wildflowers, monarchs and other butterflies, birds and other wildlife," explains Nolan. He adds that LRWP volunteer naturalists will be on the trails to answer questions and point out animals and plants of interest along the way.
At the Eagle Marsh barn, guests can enjoy displays about the monarch's life cycle and view exhibits about LRWP, its preserves, and its wildlife. There will also be monarch-related crafts for children, a nature gift for the first 300 guests, and more.