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Naperville park district hosts first Monarch Festival

A+volunteer+greets+children+and+families+as+they+enter+the+Monarch+Festival.
A volunteer greets children and families as they enter the Monarch Festival.

A volunteer greets children and families as they enter the Monarch Festival.

Madeleine Chan

Madeleine Chan

A volunteer greets children and families as they enter the Monarch Festival.

Ellen Spencer, News Editor

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On Sunday, Sept. 17, the Naperville Park District hosted its first Monarch Festival at the Knoch Knolls Nature Center as an opportunity to teach kids and adults about the importance of pollinators.

“Even though it’s called Monarch Festival, the tagline is also ‘Pollinator Extravaganza’ to let people know how important pollinators are because, literally, every third bite you take is thanks to some kind of pollinator,” Angelique Harshman, nature center manager, said.

Many businesses and organizations came in support of this event such as The Morton Arboretum, The Conservation Foundation, The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners; and The Growing Place. Each set up a tent with a small lesson, and facts about monarchs and pollinators.

To Ellen Phillips, a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener, the purpose of this event was to give the community a better understanding on monarchs, and the plants that play a big role in their lives.

“We’re here to educate the community on the life cycle of monarchs and provide information on pollinator plants that attract butterflies,” Phillips said.

Even though this is the first year the park district has hosted an event like this, Harshman expected participant turnout to be around 600 to 800 people.

“We are expecting 600 to 800 people here today because even though it may seem like an event for kids, this is also a
topic that adults really like too,” Harshman said.

More events like this one are being planned such as the third annual “Creepy Critters Day” next month, where the
park district is hosting a similar event at Knoch Knolls, families will be taught about worms, snakes, salamanders, and spiders. Followed by a “creepy scavenger hunt” for young kids.

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Naperville park district hosts first Monarch Festival