butterfly

Have Wings?  Will Migrate

The CreekFest Committee is working with Brandon Schools toward a special activity to take place within CreekFest, (June 20-22) , called the Ortonville Monarch Flash-mob Migration. 

Recognizing the peril of our iconic monarch butterfly, whose numbers have decreased dramatically in recent years, kids from 4 to 94 will gather at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 22, at CreekSide Garden next to Kearsley Creek by the Old Mill, put on or carry their monarch wings, and “fly” three blocks to the East to Heritage Garden at Church and Mill Streets.  Pets are welcome to “migrate” as well.  Little tots may join the “migration” at 1:15 at the CreekFest stage, at South and Mill Streets.

When they arrive at Heritage Garden, an adult “monarch” will tell them the story of the amazing annual monarch migration from Mexico all the way to Canada and back again.   The monarch cannot complete its life-cycle without milkweed, its larval host-plant, and milkweed has been disappearing from our local landscape, (largely due to development and herbicides).  Participants will be shown the native milkweed growing there, and milkweed seeds and starts, raised in several Brandon classrooms, will be given to each, to take home and plant in their home gardens, making sure there are nectar-bearing plants there for the butterflies once they’ve hatched.

Heritage Garden was certified a few years ago as a Monarch Waystation.  CreekSide Garden will be certified on June 22, to kick off the “migration”.  Both gardens, (native landscapes) have been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as Wildlife Habitats.  Immediately following the “Migration”, the documentary Flight of the Butterflies will be shown (free admission) at the Old Township Hall.   The film documents the discovery of the monarchs’ remarkable migration routes that until recently were completely unknown.  It was only when people began tagging monarchs that the magnitude of their migration feat was realized.  Soon after that discovery, the monarch’s numbers began to plummet, largely due to agricultural insecticides and the loss of milkweed, casting doubt on the monarch’s continuation as a species.

Elementary school teachers and students are helping by raising milkweed in their classrooms, and, with some luck, monarch chrysalises for release at the end of the “migration”.   Monarch wings and kits are available at the Village Offices for a donation to Monarch Watch.   For more information, contact Lois Robbins at (248) 969-2518  lois@robbinsmail.com.

The Ortonville Monarch Migration takes place on June 22nd, the last day of CreekFest, which spans four days this year, June 19-22.  CreekFest organizers are expecting over 2000 people to show up for the fun.  In addition to the Monarch Migration, CreekFest will feature a two-day market, a bigger-than-ever parade , a Headwaters King, Queen, , a Carnival,  Beer Tent, Fireworks, Amos Orton and Wife Lookalike Contest, a 10 K run and Minnow-Mile,  an Ortonville Has Talent contest,  Bed Races, a Bridge Troll Booth, a stunt-horse, a stage with live entertainment, and lots more!