Join the City of Hot Springs Parks and Trails Department and the Arkansas Master Naturalists for Monarch Mania and a Guided walk along the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail on Saturday, June 4th, 10:30 a.m.
The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a Guided Walk along the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail. The walk will begin in the area of the Veterans Memorial at the Transportation Depot. The distance to the Butterfly Garden is 0.75 miles. The total distance of the walk will be 1.5 miles along a smooth, paved surface. Along the way you will be introduced to the rich plant diversity of one of Hot Springs many parks. A program on the Butterfly Garden, Pollinators, and the Release of Monarch Butterflies (Generation One) will be given by Certified Master Naturalists Karen Hicks and Loretta West at the Butterfly Garden located at the junction of the Greenway Trail and Runyon St. Those not wanting to make the walk can drive to the Butterfly Garden. Parking is available at the intersection of Valley and Runyan streets. The program will start at approximately 11:00 a.m.
Many of you have probably observed bright orange and black butterflies each spring. Did you know many of those are Monarchs? Monarchs are pollinators, just like bees, wasps, flies and birds, and more than 35% of the foods we eat depend on pollinators, as do livestock. Join the Diamond Lakes Arkansas Master Naturalists and the City of Hot Springs as we present a program and Monarch butterfly release on June 4, 2022 at the Hot Springs Greenway Trail Butterfly Garden (at the corner of Valley Road and Runyan Street, next to Hot Springs Creek). The program and release will start at 10:30 a.m.
The Monarch Butterfly is our only North American butterfly that migrates each fall and spring; a journey of 1200 to 2600 miles. Each spring the migratory adults return to N. America from their overwintering grounds in the Trans volcanic Mountains in Mexico. Three generations later, the fourth generation will do something their previous three ancestors haven’t done-migrate. The Monarchs for our first release this year are “first generation”, and will migrate northward as adults. There are two more generations -a second and third that remain in the USA and Canada for the summer. All generations, with the exception of the fourth, will have a life span of around four weeks. The last group, the fourth, will migrate to Mexico for the wintering areas. This migratory generation lives up to nine months, before returning to North America to begin the cycle of life again.
Monarch caterpillars will eat milkweed leaves and stems, no exceptions-there a 73-milkweed species in the US in various regions. Due to loss of habitat (around 167 million acres since 1990) and pesticides/herbicides, deforestation, milkweed has become scarcer for those returning to feed upon it, especially in the Western US. We encourage people to plant milkweeds for the Monarchs. In the wild, only around 10% of monarch caterpillars will mature into adults, and the loss of habitat has helped contribute to their decline. The National Fish and Wildlife Service has warranted that Monarch Butterflies be placed on the Endangered Species Watch List.