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Minneapolis Monarch Festival draws a crowd
Midwest Region, September 9, 2017
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Four Monarch Festival attendees show off their face paint designs, with each child having a design representing the four monarch life stages: egg, larva/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, and adult/butterfly!
Four Monarch Festival attendees show off their face paint designs, with each child having a design representing the four monarch life stages: egg, larva/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, and adult/butterfly! - Photo Credit: Jill Utrup, USFWS
Jill Utrup (left) and Kelly Nail, USFWS employees, paint the different life stages of a monarch on young festival goers faces or hands.
Jill Utrup (left) and Kelly Nail, USFWS employees, paint the different life stages of a monarch on young festival goers faces or hands. - Photo Credit: Mara Koenig, USFWS
Even dogs got in on the action, with the MN Valley Refuge's monarch butterfly photo cutout board serving as a popular picture spot throughout the day!
Even dogs got in on the action, with the MN Valley Refuge's monarch butterfly photo cutout board serving as a popular picture spot throughout the day! - Photo Credit: Mara Koenig, USFWS
A long line formed for face painting at the USFWS booth. Many participants at the Monarch Festival could be seen decked out in monarch wings and other colorful butterfly gear.
A long line formed for face painting at the USFWS booth. Many participants at the Monarch Festival could be seen decked out in monarch wings and other colorful butterfly gear. - Photo Credit: Kelly Nail, USFWS

The Minneapolis Monarch Festival brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the colorful monarch butterfly as it begins its journey from Minnesota down to the overwintering grounds in Mexico. This festival is well attended (well over 10,000 people last year), and this year was no exception! The USFWS had a continuing presence, with a booth that drew hundreds, if not thousands of people, where they learned about the Service’s monarch conservation efforts and participated in monarch-related activities.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge employees Suzanne Trapp and Samantha Herrick organized the USFWS booth, with a focus on the refuge’s conservation efforts and activities. Ecological Services employees Jill Utrup and Kelly Nail painted the faces of some of the younger participants. Each child chose their design to be painted: either one of the four life stages of a monarch, or another local pollinator, the endangered rusty patched bumble bee. Additionally, there was a trivia wheel with information on the monarch and its annual journey, which was fun and informative for participants of all ages. There was also a monarch kite making table, which was a hit with children, who could be seen flying the monarch kites throughout the day around the festival. Both the trivia and kite activities were staffed throughout the day with refuge volunteers, without whom the event would not have been possible!

For more information about the monarch, including information on its impressive migration and what the Service is doing to help with the monarch population decline, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/


Contact Info: Kelly Nail, 952-252-0092 x205, kelly_nail@fws.gov
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