Special programs at the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort will celebrate the beginning of the monarch butterfly’s annual migration south. Participants can learn more about these valuable pollinators and receive expertise and advice on gardening for Kentucky’s native pollinators on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Salato Center.
The event will feature activities suitable for individuals of all ages, including butterfly crafts, face painting, a monarch tagging demonstration and waystation tours, and a nectar plant and milkweed sale (while quantities last). Butterfly costumes are welcome.
Salato Center staff also will unveil a new Monarch Waystation at the event. This waystation will be dedicated to the late Mary Carol Cooper, who served as director of Salato’s Native Plant Program from 1992 to 2012.
Activities and demonstrations will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time) and are free with paid admission into the center. The center features native wildlife in naturalized enclosures, conservation exhibits and paved walking trails through a variety of habitats.
For a detailed list of activities and times, contact the Salato Center at (502) 892-4460.
The center is located off U.S. 60, approximately 1½ miles west of the U.S. 127 intersection. Look for the bronze deer statue at the entrance of the main Kentucky Fish and Wildlife campus.
Except for select events, hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Salato is closed on Sunday, Monday and state holidays.
Except for select events, admission is $5 for adults and $3 for youth 5 to 18. Children four and under are admitted free. The center also offers annual memberships for individuals and families.
The Garden Club of Kentucky will dedicate two more Monarch butterfly waystations at the William Whitley House State Historic Site and Carter Caves State Resort Park in September.
The William Whitley House ceremony is Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. and the Carter Caves event is Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.
Members of the Garden Club of Kentucky have worked with state parks and other groups to design and install Monarch waystations.
Monarch butterflies need specific resources for their migration to and from Mexico. Those include nectar producing flowers, shelter and milkweed, the only plant that Monarch caterpillars will eat. These Kentucky waystations serve millions of migrating Monarch butterflies.
Other Kentucky State Parks with Monarch waystations include: Kentucky Dam Village, Waveland, Blue Licks Battlefield, Perryville Battlefield, Old Fort Harrod, Fort Boonesborough, Cumberland Falls, Lake Barkley, Jenny Wiley, Pennyrile Forest, General Butler and Barren River Lake.
For more information about the Monarch waystation program or butterfly gardening, visit www.monarchwatch.org
For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov