Have you ever stopped to admire the beauty of a butterfly? One of the most recognizable species, the orange and black monarch, is preparing for an epic migration, and Middlesex County can give you an up-close look at this natural phenomenon.
Every year millions of monarchs take part in this long journey. As host of a Monarch Waystation, East Jersey Old Town Village is the go-to location to observe and learn all about the monarchs and their behavior. Monarch Waystations provide host plants like milkweed and nectar-bearing flowers for the butterflies. These plants allow them to gain energy to migrate.
This free event will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 20 at the Indian Queen Tavern at East Jersey Old Town Village, 1050 River Rd., Piscataway.
Rutgers Master Gardener Stephanie Karoly will discuss these amazing creatures, as well as the black swallowtail, which was named the official state butterfly in 2016. Rutgers Master Gardeners comprise volunteers trained in horticulture by Rutgers Cooperative Extension personnel to provide outreach programs to home gardeners in their community.
These volunteers learn about horticulture and provide community and university services. Through opportunities in and through the Somerset County office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension and the existing Master Gardener program, newly trained volunteers return 100 hours within 18 months of completing their training to become Certified Rutgers Master Gardeners.
“I hope many people will attend this event and learn more about the monarch butterfly,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “These creatures are being threatened by habitat loss in North America, making migration difficult.”
“The Monarch Waystation at East Jersey Old Town is another great example of our County’s efforts to preserve its natural beauty,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, chair of the Business Development and Education Committee. “I hope many people will attend this colorful and exciting event.”
Funding for “Magnificent Monarchs” is provided in part by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission/New Jersey Department of State.