The news about Monarch Butterflies this year continues to be discouraging--but the 11th Annual NH Monarch Festival will provide hands-on tools and expert advice on how families can sustain and improve habitat for migrating Monarchs and other vital pollinators, all while giving kids fun ways to celebrate and learn about these amazing creatures.
In spite of more 25 years of efforts across the U.S. by citizen scientists and communities to provide more milkweed habitat for their annual migration, the monarch butterfly population is not "out of the woods" yet. The bad news is that the total forest area occupied by Monarchs overwintering in Mexico decreased by 22% from last year, to the second lowest level since 2014. For perspective, the entire population could fit within Petals in the Pines' 7.5 acres--with room to spare. The NH Monarch Festival, held annually at Petals in the Pines in Canterbury since 2013, focuses on increasing public awareness of the Monarch’s plight, and ways to help them.
Our NEW Monarch Festival format:
For the first 10 years, the Festival was held for 7 hours on a single day, and crowds of visitors had to jockey for parking spaces (often lining Baptist Road with cars for quite a distance!) For 2023, we have decided to change to a spread-out schedule, with 2-hour visit slots (pre-registration required) over two 3-day weekends. This will provide a more focused experience, with ample parking, new activities (including learning about the plight of all pollinators--not just butterflies), and opportunity to enjoy "free time" exploring all that Petals in the Pines has to offer.
The new Festival is a 2 hour event (Reservations REQUIRED--see button below: Adults $7; Kids $3.50; infants (non-walkers) are free. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.) Each session will begin with presentations to all guests :
Every family will receive a gift bag with milkweed seeds and planting instructions, coupons to Tanglewood Hollow and Hazel Moon Botanicals, Monarch book author contacts, pollinator seeds, info on where to buy native plants, and much more! You'll have the tools and resources you need to help the monarchs and pollinators.
Options for "free time":
DATES & TIMES:
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR VISITORS:
SCROLL DOWN FOR A LIST OF RESOURCES
Do you belong to a club or organization that is looking for a speaker? We have an hour-long Monarch power point presentation that has been enjoyed by garden clubs, women's groups and libraries. Filled with beautiful photos taken here at our gardens, you'll learn about the life-cycle of the Monarch, their amazing migration to Mexico, what they need to survive, and how you can help.
Donna has been a citizen scientist for Monarch Watch since 2008, tagging Monarchs annually before their fall migration. She weaves in interesting stories from her experience with these amazing creatures over the years.
Scroll down the left column on their page. Check out For Kids and Education. There are activities and educational information here for kids of all ages. If you want to get involved helping the monarchs click on Citizen Science.
So many great resources here! This link takes you to the "Spring" page. At the top you can click on Fall or Winter for so much more!!
This is something that should be done with the supervision of a parent or adult. Keeping the cage/net cleaned daily is very important. Please do your research before committing to this.
Watch as these kids assemble a bracelet with beads that represent the life cycle of monarchs. Kits are available on our Farm Stand Porch Shop for $2.00 each, while supplies last.
Books for Kids:
Fly, Butterfly by Bonnie Bader
Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
Milkweed Visitors by Mary Holland
This is for starting seeds indoors. The easy way to plant milkweed seed is to plant it outside in your garden just before the ground freezes, around late October.
This is local information from research at UNH with plant lists for NH gardens. Once you get to this page there are several more links on related subjects. Good stuff!
This is a great resource! A one-stop shop for several plant lists from many reputable organizations.
Instructions on how to create a Monarch Way Station. Make sure to register it too!
Many schools are creating butterfly gardens. Here is a great resource to get started!
There are many organizations out there doing good work to help the monarch, pollinators and that promote the use of native plants. Here are a few of them.
Doug Tallamy Books
Bringing Nature Home and Nature's Best Hope by Douglas Tallamy
Nature's Best Hope powerpoint by Doug Tallamy on You Tube
The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Douglas Tallamy
Monarchs & Butterflies
The Monarch, Saving our Most-Loved Butterfly by Kylee Baumle
Butterfly Book by Donald & Lillian Stokes & Ernest Williams
Caterpillars of Eastern North America by David L. Wagner
Gardening and Landscaping
Gardening for Butterflies by the Xerces Society
Attracting Native Pollinators by the Xerces Society
The Green Garden by Ellen Sousa
Native Plants of the Northeast by Donald J. Leopold
Native Plants for New England Gardens by Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe
Integrated Landscaping: Following Nature's Lead, UNH Cooperative Extension