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A celebration of the monarch’s journey from Canada, through Iowa, to Mexico, will be held Sept. 17, from Noon to 4 p.m., at Blank Park Zoo, in Des Moines.
“Each fall, the iconic monarch butterfly sets it sights on the mountains of Mexico. They travel, en masse, through our state on a journey that can be over 2,000 miles long. We are honored to partner with the Latino Heritage Festival, to highlight the importance of this butterfly to our two countries,” said Jessie Lowry, conservation manager, Blank Park Zoo.
In Iowa, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship have been looking at ways to help the local monarch population and to improve and expand the refueling areas for monarchs migrating through.
The Iowa DNR will have monarch experts available at the festival.
"We are excited to partner with Blank Park Zoo to bless the monarch butterflies on their long journey to Mexico. According to local legend, the monarchs arriving in Mexico this time of year are believed to be the souls of our ancestors returning home," said Joe Gonzalez, executive director, Latino Resources (oversees Latino Heritage Festival).
This year, a giant “Chinese dragon” style caterpillar will appear in the Festival’s signature BUG PARADE at 2 p.m.
Monarch Festival Activities:
The Blank Park Zoo Monarch Festival is sponsored and supported by Wit’s End Gardens, Blooming Prairie Nursery, Art Junkie and the Latino Heritage Festival.
For more information contact:
Jessie Lowry, Blank Park Zoo, 515-490-4370, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Bickel, Blank Park Zoo, 515-988-9485, email@example.com
Photos and video can be found here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9hof5afS1qBQmI2LXRabXItREE