MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) will host the Monarchs @ Mon Arts Festival on Oct. 8 to help bring attention to West Virginia’s recently endangered state butterfly, the monarch butterfly. The free event will be held at the MAC in Downtown Morgantown from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Activities will include:
- Monarch-themed art at the “Mon-Art Show.”
- Butterfly arts and gifts at the “Pollinator Pop-Up Shop.”
- Painting rocks for pollinator gardens.
- Making butterfly antennae headbands.
- A monarch wings selfie station by local artists Alexandria Gaujot and Jennifer Powell.
- Story elements by the Morgantown Public Library System.
“Mon County loves our monarch butterflies!” said Marly Ynigues, MAC’s volunteer programming chair and festival coordinator. “Monarchs @ Mon Arts is a fun way to support their habitat in our community.”
Monarch caterpillars only feed on milkweed, including West Virginia’s native milkweed species-butterfly milkweed, common milkweed and swamp milkweed. A such, environmental experts from the West Virginia Botanic Garden will be in attendance, teaching about native plants and providing milkweed seeds.
Also, Friends of Deckers Creek will show multimedia art about the monarch butterfly lifecycle, while students at North Elementary School will unveil a paper mural based on the native plants and pollinators in their garden.
In solidarity with the MAC, Morgantown has also joined Monarch City USA, a group that works to promote monarch butterfly habitat, food sources and pollinator-safe gardening practices to support healthy migration.