The Forest Preserve District of DuPage takes pollinator protection seriously and is celebrating through art, music, and science some of the natural world’s hardest-working animals.
Buy plants that are good for pollinators at the Native Plant Sale on May 8 & 9, take a class, see pollinators in action on their flowering journeys at an art exhibit from May 6 – June 29, join a bird walk or guided hike or help save a species by learning how to identify the endangered rusty-patched bumblebee.
The exhibit is designed to showcase these easily overlooked but vital critters through eye-catching works of art. The exhibit will also feature fun facts about pollinators to help visitors connect the beauty of pollinators to the critical role they play in our ecosystem.
“You might not stop to admire a beetle on the sidewalk, but a stunning painting of a beetle might catch your eye,” said Mayslake heritage interpreter Kendra Strubhart, who is curating the exhibit. “The show is meant to encourage our community to celebrate the actions of all pollinators.”
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 4 million people visit its 60+ forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
Get ready for the annual arrival of the monarchs by learning how you can help these beautiful insects and other pollinators. Leave with a packet of native milkweed seeds to start your own native garden at home. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person.
The City of West Chicago has shown an outstanding commitment to monarch conservation and will be recognized by the DuPage Monarch Project at a city council meeting on December 2nd.
After Mayor Pineda signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge in 2017, the city swung into action to help monarchs by providing habitat and educating the community about the monarchs declining population.
“West Chicago has taken an innovative approach to monarch conservation by linking the migrating butterfly to the community’s identity through art, history and culture,” said Lonnie Morris, DuPage Monarch Project Coordinator. “The City has also made the butterfly unforgettable.”
The summer the monarch pledge was signed, a high profile monarch garden was planted at City Hall. The following year the garden provided a colorful display for visitors and attracted adult monarchs, with caterpillars observed feeding on milkweed plants.
West Chicago declared 2019 the Year of the Butterfly. With the support of the arts community and Gallery 200, 36 artist-designed butterflies were installed in public gardens throughout the city. The public art project, aptly named The Butterfly Effect from a chaos theory principle where a small change can make a huge difference, has sent ripples of awareness through out the community.
City staff worked with Gallery 200 and West Chicago High School to host showings of The Guardians, a documentary about the challenges local people face in protecting the monarchs’ overwintering habitat in Mexico from illegal logging and agricultural incursions.
Connie Schmidt, Illinois Sierra Club Chair will speak on behalf of DuPage Monarch Project at West Chicago’s December 2nd council meeting.
DuPage Monarch Project is a partnership of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage, River Prairie Group of Sierra Club, The Conservation Foundation and Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter.