9th Annual NH Monarch Festival to Highlight Best Ways to Sustain Pollinators:
Learning From the Plight of the Miraculous Monarch Butterfly
CANTERBURY, NH—The news about Monarch Butterflies this year is distressing–but the 9th Annual NH Monarch Festival will provide hands-on tools and expert advice on how families can sustain and improve habitat for migrating Monarchs and other vital pollinators, all while giving kids fun ways to celebrate and learn about these amazing creatures. Saturday Sept 11, 2021 9a-4p. Kids are FREE; suggested donation of $5 per adult.
In spite of 25 years of efforts across the U.S. by citizen scientists and communities to provide more milkweed habitat for their annual migration, the total forest area occupied by Monarchs overwintering in Mexico has decreased 26% from last year, and a startling 65% since two years ago (only 2.10 hectares–5.2 acres–in winter 2020-21 vs. 2.83 hectares in 2019-20 and 6.05 in 2018-19. Source: MonarchWatch.org).
The NH Monarch Festival, held annually at Petals in the Pines in Canterbury since 2013, focuses on increasing public awareness of the Monarch’s plight and ways for families to help them. The Festival, held on September 11 this year (9a-4p) will include kids’ activities and games, the “Tale Trail” (featuring a book written by children about milkweed and Monarchs), educational and nature art vendors, butterfly tagging demonstration, book author readings, two new labyrinths (one contemplative, one kid-friendly), “Ask-a-Master-Gardener” table, FREE milkweed seeds, 2 miles of woodland trails and garden paths, hundreds of flower varieties, and much more.
For updates and important COVID-19 and Festival guidelines, visit petalsinthepines.com/monarch-festival
One new feature this year is the Pollinator Meadow, showcasing native flowers–including the three types of milkweed that grow in our state–that attract and sustain a diverse population of beneficial insects. Petals in the Pines is one of 37 locations in NH that are part of the Homegrown National Park project–a grassroots movement started by professor and author Doug Tallamy to regenerate natural diversity (homegrownnationalpark.org). At the NH Monarch Festival, visitors will see how native trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses can do vital work of feeding pollinators, managing water, and sequestering carbon–and look beautiful at the same time.
On this 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, Festival visitors who desire some moments of quiet reflection are encouraged to hike up the Meditation Trail to the “Love and Grace” contemplative labyrinth–a sacred walking space for prayer and listening, overlooking a soothing woodland stream.
Since 2010 Petals in the Pines, an Arbor Day-certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom and sustainable-practices flower farm, has enabled children of all ages to experience nature in a safe and nurturing environment; and has encouraged and educated adults in their personal exploration of the natural world that surrounds them.