Education Corner: Monarch Butterflies
One of the things we love about summer is seeing the variety of pollinators zooming around the Greenway. Of these, one of the most eye catching is the Monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus. The Monarch is a stunning orange and black butterfly that is renowned for its long migration from the US to Mexico, some 2,500 miles. This whole trip can never be completed in the lifespan of one butterfly but instead is completed by about four generations of butterflies! While adult Monarch butterflies can gather nectar from a wide variety of plants, their young caterpillars are only able to eat the leaves of milkweeds so the adults must be sure to lay their eggs on a milkweed plant. The milkweed plant contains a toxin that builds up in the caterpillar and stays in their system even when it turns into a butterfly. This makes the butterfly poisonous to other animals, which are warned by the Monarch's bright colors.
July 21st - 8:30pm - Adventure Center
Take part in the celebration of National Moth Week at the Adventure Center! Learn about the diversity of moths, the important roles they play in the environment and local efforts to learn more about them with Lenny Lampel from Mecklenburg County Natural Resources Division. After a short indoor presentation, we'll step out into the darkness to observe a variety of moths with the aid of black lights, sheets and specialized baits. This is a great chance to get up close to these incredible jewels of the night. Bring a flashlight and comfortable shoes for walking in the nighttime woods. Learn more about National Moth Week here: nationalmothweek.org/