Supporters gathered at the Castlegar Butterflyway Garden near the Kootenay Gallery of Art to mark Flight of the Monarch Day on Aug. 20.
The purpose of the event was to raise awareness about the endangered species and increase conservation efforts in the community.
Liza Hallborg gave an interactive presentation about the monarch’s migration and life cycle.
Volunteers cleared weeds from the garden while listening to classical music in hopes that the endangered butterflies will soon enjoy a stop in Castlegar.
Recently, the iconic monarch butterfly has been listed as endangered.
“Monarchs struggle due to many issues that humans have caused them,” explains event organizer Olga Hallborg.
This includes the disapperance of milkweed, the only plant monarch caterpillars eat.
“It is being eradicated by gardeners because it is seen as a noxious weed,” says Hallborg.
“In the Kootenays, we had not seen monarch butterflies since at least 2018,” said Hallborg.
That changed recently when Tiffany Muncaster (a summer intern working for the Pollination Pathway Climate Adaptation Initiative) found not only monarchs but also monarch caterpillars in the Pend d’Oreille valley this summer.