Master Naturalists, parks department host Monarch Mania again Oct. 15 – Hot Springs Sentinel

Master Naturalists, parks department host Monarch Mania again Oct. 15 – Hot Springs Sentinel

The Diamond Lakes chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists, in conjunction with the Hot Springs Parks and Trails Department, will again host Monarch Mania in October.
DLAMN members will release Monarch butterflies at the pollinator garden on the Greenway Trail on Saturday, Oct. 15, weather permitting.
“The public is invited to witness this beautiful event,” a news release said.
Certified Master Naturalists Karen Hicks and Loretta West will present a short program about the Monarchs, other pollinators, and the pollinator garden.
The event will begin with DLAMN members leading a guided walk down the Greenway Trail to the pollinator garden. Along the way, participants will be introduced to the rich plant diversity of one of Hot Springs’ many parks, the release said.
Anyone who wants to make the short walk, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., can gather at the Garland County Veterans Memorial and Military Park near the Hot Springs Farmers & Artisans Market. The walk is a 1.5-mile round trip on a smooth, paved trail. Participants can also drive to the pollinator garden, with limited parking at the intersection of Valley and Runyan streets. The program will start at around 10 a.m. There will be a photo booth and handouts. Children are welcome.
“As sure as the return of autumn, the Monarch butterflies are heading back through Arkansas on their approximate 2,000-mile migration from their summer home in Canada to winter in Mexico. Because of the abnormal weather conditions this year, the Monarchs are a little later than usual, but they are beginning to appear here in Hot Springs. Since Monarchs have now been placed on the endangered species list, protecting and aiding these beautiful pollinators is more vital than ever,” the release said.
The Arkansas Master Naturalists are “educators, citizen scientists, and stewards of the environment. If you are interested in natural science, and have a love of learning about our state’s natural heritage, we invite you to attend one of our meetings,” the release said.
The Diamond Lakes Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists meets on the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. at Transportation Depot. For more information, visit http://www.arkansasmasternaturalists.com.
The butterflies being released are “fourth generation” Monarchs.
“The Monarch’s eastern journey is the longest migration in the United States. It takes four generations to complete. The first generation is hatched in the southern U.S. and begins to move northward. A second generation will then travel further into the U.S. and Canada. Their eggs will become the third generation and begin their journey south. Their offspring will become the fourth generation. The fourth generation is called the ‘super generation.’ Generations 1, 2 and 3 live on average just four weeks. The fourth generation will return to the oyamel trees in Mexico’s Trans Volcanic Mountains where they will remain until March when they mate and begin their journey back to the U.S. to lay the new first generation, and the cycle begins again.”

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