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August 02, 2022

Butterfly festivals to celebrate, conserve the newly endangered monarch

The species is threatened by habitat destruction and climate change. Events in Montgomery and Chester counties aim to help the fluttering insects

Migratory monarch butterflies' summertime stay in the Northeast is nearing its end. To celebrate the tiny travelers, there are multiple events happening in the Philadelphia area this month.

The species, which migrates thousands of miles each year, arrives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey around May. They then reproduce before they head south each fall.

MORE: Migratory monarch butterflies are now considered an endangered species

This year's butterfly-related events carry an extra weight, given the migratory monarch recently being classified as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The species' population is threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.

Here are two events aimed at celebrating and protecting the beautiful, fluttering insects:

Colonial Gardens in Phoenixville, Chester County is hosting a Butterfly Festival on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be multiple butterfly release times throughout the day, as well as information on helping monarchs, local crafts for sale and hayrides. The event is free, but guests can reserve a butterfly for $10.

• Upper Schuylkill Valley Park in Montgomery County will host its Butterfly Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon. The event features hands-on activities for children, along with important information on tagging, feeding and raising butterflies. At the end of the event, tagged monarchs will be released to begin their journey south, weather permitting. A small donation is requested from attendees.

Along with attending events like these, people who want to save the monarch species can take action by planting native milkweed in their backyards and joining the efforts of conservation groups like Monarch Joint Venture.

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