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Nature Conservancy Invites All to Virtual Monarch Festival.

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September 9, 2020

Photo Credit: ©The Nature Conservancy/Susan MiHalo

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. — The 3rd Annual East Chicago Festival de la Monarca is taking flight again—in a new way. Also known as the Monarch Festival, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and partners have migrated the festival to a virtual setting this year: a week of stories, activities and lessons about monarch butterflies. 

The Festival de la Monarca celebrates the monarch butterfly’s amazing 2,000-mile migration from East Chicago to Mexico. The monarch is the only butterfly to migrate two ways, similar to migratory birds. They depend on milkweed to fuel their journey and quality habitat to rest along the way.

The festival will feature a series of free webinar workshops to learn how to be a community scientist, tips on planting for pollinators like monarchs and connections to people in Mexico who protect their winter habitat. A full list of the sessions can be found here.

All are invited to join the virtual festival online with pre-registration in advance. Sessions include:

• Monarchs 101: Become a Community Scientist! – Monday, September 14 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. CST | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST

• Monarchs & People – Risking Migration for a Better Life– Tuesday, September 15 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. CST | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST

• Aztec Dance Demonstration and Free Lesson – Tuesday, September 15 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. CST | 7:30 – 8:30 p.m. EST

• Direct From Mexico:  Challenges and Opportunities for Monarch Conservation – Wednesday, September 16 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. CST | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST

• The Guardians Documentary Film With Live Commentary and Q&A Afterwards With the Producers– Wednesday, September 16 | 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. CST | 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. EST

• Native Plant Gardening 101 – Thursday, September 17 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. CST | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST

• Pollinators in Peril: Why and What Can You Do About It? – Friday, September 18 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. CST | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST

• Local Conservation Efforts by The Nature Conservancy and Partners: Making a Difference in a Challenging Environment – Saturday, September 19 | 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. CST | 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about this amazing butterfly right from your home,” said Joel Perez-Castaneda, TNC’s urban conservationist in Indiana. â€śWhile we would rather gather in person, this online alternative allows even more people to participate without the time and expense of travel. The more people learn about the monarchs, the more we hope people will plant milkweed and care about the conservation of pollinators.”

Researchers estimate that a jaw-dropping 970 million monarchs have vanished since 1990. TNC is encouraging citizen scientists in a number of U.S. states to help track monarchs. This data will help researchers understand if monarch migration patterns are changing due to climate change or habitat loss. 

This event would not be possible without the help of partners, including: the City of East Chicago, Audubon Great Lakes, the Field Museum of Chicago, Save the Dunes, Shirley Heinze Land Trust, Dunes Learning Center and the Gibson Woods Chapter of Wild Ones. 


The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. Learn more online at nature.org/indiana.

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