Tree climbing is back at Monarch Butterfly Fest

The popular tree climbing activity will be back for the Monarch Butterfly Fest on Saturday, Aug. 25. CONTRIBUTED

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The popular tree climbing activity will be back for the Monarch Butterfly Fest on Saturday, Aug. 25. CONTRIBUTED

The summer’s B and B celebration is about to take flight — as in butterflies and bluegrass.

While not the most conventional combination, it has become a warm-weather tradition that brings entertainment and education together.

National Trail Parks and Recreation’s Monarch Butterfly Fest is back with a range of family friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, in the Buck Creek Nature Park, located behind the National Trail administrative building.

The festival is free and sponsored by Veterinary Services of Springfield and Clark Soil and Water Conservation District.

“It’s a multi-faceted draw with our pollinator education program and bluegrass music,” said Penny Dunbar, recreation specialist with National Trail.

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A butterfly rests on a flower in the new Butterfly House at Meadow View Growers last week. Meadow View will hold a monarch butterfly census to get a count of butterflies migrating through the area to Mexico. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

A butterfly rests on a flower in the new Butterfly House at Meadow View Growers last week. Meadow View will hold a monarch butterfly census to get a count of butterflies migrating through the area to Mexico. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

caption arrowCaption
A butterfly rests on a flower in the new Butterfly House at Meadow View Growers last week. Meadow View will hold a monarch butterfly census to get a count of butterflies migrating through the area to Mexico. Bill Lackey/Staff

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

While pollinator education with the monarchs is a big draw, a new addition in 2017 took the Fest to new heights — recreational tree climbing. Those 8 and older can use ropes to climb trees under the supervision of Natural Fit Outdoor Adventures.

The activity will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free, but interested people must register first.

“It’s safe and fun and the kids especially love it,” Dunbar said.

The education programs will include a plants for pollinators session at 10:30, followed by a butterfly walk at noon and monarch migration tagging at 1:30.

Making their Fest debut will be the Sandy Tar Brothers, bluegrass performers from Columbus.

Strolling entertainers will include another first-timer, a Johnny Appleseed re-enactor, keeping with the event’s theme. Four food trucks, artisan vendors and children’s crafts will round out the experience.

There may even be some fitness opportunities.

“We’re right on the bike path, so people can ride their bikes down if they choose,” Dunbar said.


WANT TO GO?

What: Monarch Butterfly Fest

Where: Buck Creek Nature Park, 1101 Mitchell Blvd., Springfield

When: Saturday, Aug. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: free

More info: call 937-328-7275 or go to ntprd.org/monarch-butterfly-festival/

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