• Learning

Monarch Butterfly Talk and Walk

Beckley Creek Park

Please join our speaker, Bob Jones at The Parklands for a unique talk on the Monarch Butterfly’s amazing migration and their historical significance. To find more information about the content of the talk read additional information below. Then after the talk, we will head outside to see if we can find and tag some of these butterflies as they make their way back to Mexico on their incredible migration. Come prepared to be outside for at least 30 minutes. You may also have the option to walk through tall grasses while trying to capture monarch butterflies, it is best to wear boots and long pants if you want to walk through our meadows.

This talk and walk will take place on August 24th 2024 at 9:30am, and will meet at The PNC Achievement Center in Beckley Creek Park. The talk will last around 30 minutes, then we will spend the rest of the hour walking through the meadows surrounding the PNC Achievement Center. Pre-registration is required, please sign up using the link below. It is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Once all the spots are filled registration will be closed. All supplies are included but you are welcome to bring a butterfly net if you have one.

Additional Information:

The Monarch Butterfly annually performs the longest migration of any insect in the world, from as far north as southern Canada to south-central Mexico, a distance of more than 3000 miles. The butterflies begin their migration south in August, passing through Kentucky in late summer and early fall, and gathering by December at several locations in the mountains south of Mexico City. The number of Monarchs that winter at these sites are estimated in the hundreds of millions, all having migrated from the north. Many head back north in the spring, along the way laying eggs on milkweed to birth the next generation. This phenomenon has been going on since well before humans inhabited the Americas.

But once Mexico was inhabited, these butterflies were not ignored, and there is evidence today of widespread prevalence of Mesoamerican butterfly symbols dating from as early as 100 BC, and which were seen by the Aztecs as the returning souls of warriors slain in battle. In more recent times, the monarch in Mexico has taken on a special symbolic meaning and its image is an important part of the annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations in early November.

Bob Jones has been involved in the monarch migrations since the 1980s, counting and tagging monarchs in California and now here in Kentucky. His presentation will take a look at both the North American migration and the Mesoamerican mythology of this amazing insect.