MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On Saturday, The City of Morgantown held the inaugural “Monarchs @ The Mon Arts Festival” event.

In 2022, the monarch butterfly was declared an endangered species. The event, held at the Monongalia Arts Center (MAC), was meant to educate the public about monarch butterflies and how you can save them.

The City of Morgantown’s Mayor, Jenny Selin, declared a proclamation that dedicated the week of Oct. 4-10 to be known as Monarch Butterfly Conservation Week.

City of Morgantown Proclamation for Monarch Butterfly Conservation Week.

This festival teaches a immersive lesson on West Virginia’s native milkweed species, the butterfly milkweed, common milkweed and swamp milkweed, and are essential, being the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Environmental experts from the West Virginia Botanic Garden taught about native plants and provided milkweed seeds while Friends of Deckers Creek demonstrated a monarch art presentation about the life-cycle of these butterflies.

“It’s just so heartwarming seeing everybody enjoying the art, experiencing it hands on, and getting really involved in our own communities,” said Marly Ynigues, MAC board of directors programming chair.

During the event, participants could see the Mon-Art Show, which featured a gallery of art that had a monarch-theme, and were able to buy arts and gifts at the Pollinator Pop-Up Shop.

Participants could also paint butterfly themed pictures and make butterfly headbands with help from local artists Alexandria Gaujot and Jennifer Powell.

The monarch butterfly is the state butterfly of West Virginia, and the City of Morgantown is the only West Virginia city to become a member of Monarch City USA.

Monarch City USA promotes monarch butterfly habitat, food sources and pollinator-safe gardening practices with nearly 100 other cities across the United States.

Sign that will be displayed around Morgantown. (WBOY Image)

To find out more information about monarch butterflies or the MAC click here.