On Saturday, May 21, from 1-4 PM, Indian Creek Nature Center will hold its first ever Monarch Fest! Enjoy a fun-filled day of games, activities and learning at this family-friendly festival. Monarch Fest will feature guest speakers from the Monarch Research Project and Monarchs of Eastern Iowa; tours of the butterfly hoop house; and the chance to make milkweed seed balls. Sign up to receive free milkweed plugs from The Great Milkweed Giveaway! (More info below.)
You will learn everything you need to know for the monarch rearing season, including monarch biology, how and why to raise caterpillars indoors, and how to create pollinator gardens. Children will enjoy games and planting activities. Celebrate the journey these extraordinary butterflies make every year and why they are so important to our planet.
Vendor booths will be open all day. Come for a short while, or stay the whole day!
1:15: Mayor’s kick-off speech: The Mayor will sign the Pollinator Pledge and talk about what the city of Cedar Rapids is doing to help pollinators. -Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett
1:40-2:00: How and Why to Raise Monarch Caterpillars -Andria Cossolotto
2:00-2:30: Free time – Visit Monarchs of Eastern Iowa and Master Gardener tables, tour the hoop house, see Bio-tent demonstration, make monarch seed balls, play the migration game, plant a nectar plant for your home.
2:30-2:50: Understanding Monarch Biology and Needs -ICNC Director of Education Jan Aiels
2:50-3:10: The Mexico Experience -Patti Ankrum
3:10-3:30 Polli-scaping: Design Through the Eyes of Pollinators –Becki Lynch
3:30-4:00: Free time – wander the various tables and activities
The Great Milkweed Give Away is to promote the planting and maintenance of milkweed on property all around Cedar Rapids and Linn County. The milkweed plugs being given away for free are the result of a mutual partnership between the Monarch Research Project (MRP) and Monarch Watch. For Monarch Fest, the MRP is making over 1,000 plugs available to be given away during the day to celebrate the Mayor’s Pledge and to support Monarchs and all Pollinators. More info at monarchzones.com.