The Monarch butterfly population has declined by 90% over the past ten years. To help reverse this trend the City of Branson and the Butterfly Palace are taking steps to bring the Monarch butterflies back to Branson and surrounding areas. Two different “Monarch Mingles” public events are scheduled for September 14 & 16.
The first “Mayors’ Milkweed for Monarchs Mingle,” will be held at The Butterfly Palace on Thursday, September 14, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The public is invited to learn more about the programs to restore the Monarch Butterflies in our community, see the debut of a new 3-D movie about Monarch migration, and hear updates on exciting additions to the Butterfly Palace’s 7,000 square foot exhibits. Pollinator plant seed packets and other prizes will be given away as door prizes.
On September 16, the second Monarch Mingle takes place at 1:30 at Wild Birds Unlimited. Along with the 1:30 special presentation on “How to Bring Back Monarch Butterflies,” a pollinator-friendly plant sale takes place from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. Free milkweed seed packets will be distributed at the 1:30 presentation.
The City of Branson is located in the very center of the Monarch migration, and is part of a multi-nation effort to reverse the dwindling numbers of Monarch Butterflies. Mayor Karen Best is one of 350 mayors who have committed to action items to preserve this iconic species. The Missouri Master Naturalists Springfield Plateau Chapter secured the first 200 original milkweed plants for City properties, and the Missouri Department of Conservation has donated nearly 1000 milkweed plants to this area. Seed packets were donated by The National Fish and Wildlife Federation and Monsanto.
Milkweed is a perennial wildflower which used to grow along fence rows, pastures and highways. Local efforts have taken place to help provided a natural habitat for the Monarch Butterflies. The City has included pollinator plants in various landscaping areas to provide a habitat here in the Ozarks as part of the butterfly’s journey from Mexico to Canada each year. One visible example is the drive along Gretna Road. The City renovated the landscaped medians eliminating the grassy areas and replaced with new landscaping including pollinator plants. The Taneyhills Library Junior Gardeners have also participated by planting a children’s garden which provides food and habitat for pollinators. These combined efforts enhance the nature experiences of both residents and visitors to the Tri-Lakes area.