LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Zoo’s Butterflies n’ Blooms event culminates Saturday with the release of 1,000 tagged monarch butterflies at Flutter Fest on Sept. 21. in partnership with Louisville’s Idlewild Butterfly Farm.
This release coincides with the annual migration of monarch butterflies. Flutter Fest releasees will be tracked.
A limited number of guests can become a hands-on citizen scientist by helping the Zoo tag monarch butterflies to track their long journey to their wintering grounds in Central Mexico. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. guests can enjoy 15 stations to celebrate pollinators and learn more about the amazing monarch butterfly migration and why pollinators like bees and butterflies are important.
New for 2019: For the first time, the Zoo is offering a chance to bid on the opportunity to be part of the annual monarch butterfly release. Winning bidders will join the Zoo on Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. to release the tagged monarch butterflies for the great migration. Bidding is open now and will close on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 11:55 p.m. Winners will be notified directly through the bidding site and will receive further instructions at that time. Bid at https://cbo.io/bidapp/index.php?slug=flutterfest#.
The festivities will be rounded out with games and activities like buggy toss, caterpillar/butterfly matching game, and a pollinator obstacle course. Guests can also create fun crafts to take home and enjoy year-round.
Starting at 2 p.m., butterfly expert Blair Leano-Helvey will give a brief talk on the importance of pollinators like monarchs. Then, at approximately 2:10 p.m., we will begin the release of over 1,000 monarch butterflies.
Louisville Metro Division of Community Forestry is giving away 300 plants perfect for our pollinator pals. Varieties include, Pawpaw, Red Osier Dogwoods, Witchhazel, and Tulip Poplars and are limited to one tree per Flutter Fest attendee on a “first come” basis and while supplies last. All the trees given away will be native to Kentucky. Trees are to be planted on private property and cannot be planted in street right of ways, parks, or container. Tree species fact sheet, planting and maintenance instructions will be provided.