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Kingsley Branch Library Holds Monarch Release Party As Butterflies Migrate to Mexico

After taking last year off due to COVID, the Kingsley Branch Library held their annual Monarch release party. The event happens every August and teaches children about the importance of the Monarch species.

“The Kingsley Branch Library, and our children’s garden specifically, became a Monarch way station about nine years ago and that’s when we started doing a Monarch release party,” said Amy Barritt, Kingsley Branch Library Manager.

Each year, the Monarchs migrate all the way to Mexico. Kingsley Branch Library works with Monarch Watch, a nonprofit organization based in Kanas that focuses on the Monarch butterfly, its habitat, and their Fall migration.

“They track migratory data. So, places like us can get tags,” Barritt said. “That go on the butterflies wing and when that butterfly arrives in Mexico the folks down there from Monarch Watch record that data.”

Jimmy Smith is a 6th grader at Kingsley Middle School. He’s been learning about Monarchs in school and came to learn more about butterflies.

“If you find a butterfly, be careful,” Smith said. “Don’t grab its wings, because if you grab it too hard and pull on them, it can rip their wings and they can’t really fly.”

Once the butterflies are released, they can travel from 50-100 miles a day . Their entire journey to Mexico can take up to two months.

“We wanted it as a chance to teach young people, especially, about Monarchs and how we can help support our native butterfly pollinator population… and why that’s so important to our general health ecosystem all together,” Barritt said.

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