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Monarch “Migration”, Sunday June 21st during CreekFest in Downtown Ortonville

butterfly2Kids from 4 to 94 and pets are flexing their monarch wings, getting ready to “fly” in the Ortonville Monarch “Migration” on Sunday, June 21, the last day of Ortonville’s 2015 CreekFest celebration. Calling attention to the peril of the iconic monarch butterfly, whose numbers have decreased dramatically in recent years, people and pets will gather at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 21, at Heritage Garden, a Monarch Waystation at Church and Mill Streets, next to Old Township Hall. They’ll learn about the Monarch’s amazing migration, then put on or carry their monarch wings, and “fly” four blocks to the West, to CreekSide Garden, our second Monarch Waystation next to Kearsley Creek by the Old Mill..

(Note: The 2015 “migration” route is the reverse of last year’s route, starting instead of ending at Heritage Garden.)

Starting on April 15, Monarch wings will be available at the Village Offices for a donation to Monarch Watch. Monarch wings can also be home-made, or purchased on the internet.

The monarch cannot complete its life-cycle without milkweed, its larval host-plant. Milkweed has been disappearing from our local landscape, (largely due to development and herbicides). Participants will be shown the native milkweed growing in both Monarch Waystations, and they’ll be given milkweed starts to take home and plant in their home gardens.

It was only when people began tagging monarchs that the magnitude of their migration feat was realized: flying from Mexico 15,000 miles to Canada in one season, over four generations. Soon after that discovery, the monarch’s numbers began to plummet, largely due to agricultural insecticides and herbicides and the loss of milkweed, the Monarch’s larval host-plant, casting doubt on the monarch’s continuation as a species.

In addition to the “Migration” on June 21, Monarch impersonators are invited to “fly” in the Ortonville CreekFest Parade, on Saturday, June 20, starting at 10:00 am at Fletcher School, and ending at the Old Mill.