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Celebrating Monarchs' Journey From Minnesota to Mexico

September 11, 2010

Celebrating Monarchs' Journey From Minnesota to Mexico
by Sheila Regan, TC Daily Planet

Hundreds of children and families gathered on September 11 by the Nokomis Naturescape Gardens on the northeast shore of Lake Nokomis for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival. The event, sponsored by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association and Community Celebration of Place, included lots of arts activities for kids, music, dance performances, and opportunities for both children and adults to learn about our state's official butterfly—the monarch.

For example, did you know that the monarchs you see around here migrate 2,300 miles to the mountains of Michoacán Mexico? Did you know that the milkweed family is the only monarch caterpillar host plant, and that without milkweeds along their entire journey, the monarchs wouldn't be able to make it all the way to their destination?

Artist Douglas Padilla of Grupo Soap del Corazón said he remembers growing up in St. Louis Park and seeing 50-60 monarchs in his backyard at one time. As he grew up, however, seeing monarchs became a rarity. He credits a green revival for bringing back the orange and black butterflies to Minneapolis.

According to The Monarch Festival's website, the uplands of what is now Minneapolis was covered in prairie grasses, wildflowers, and scattered oak trees before 1850. Now the oak savanna plant has become very rare, with only 1% of Minnesota's original savanna plant remaining. 12 years ago, native plants and grasses were planted near Lake Nakomis through a program called Naturescape.

In 2005, Naturescape was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to promote the organization and they initiated the Growing Monarch Habitat to make the connection between native plants and essential habitat, and to inspire residents to plant natives at home and conserve native plant habitat. The Naturescape is now an official Monarch Waystation and National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat Site.

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News & Events

Cashton, WI - 8th Grade Leadership will host a Cashton Community Celebration in honor of Mrs. Marian Sullivan Schwarz’s 104th Birthday at the Cashton Community Hall on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM.  

Community Celebration of Place is partnering with Little Free Library on Saturday, May 21, in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the first-ever Little Free Library Festival.

Join highly acclaimed author Kent Nerburn and Larry Long, Executive Director of Community Celebration of Palce for an evening of songs, stories and music.

Save Our History!

During 2017-2018, it is a primary program of Community Celebration of Place to transfer their collection into archives that will be open to the public for generations to come

We can not do this work without you.


My heartfelt thanks to Larry Long and all the voices from which our history continues to generate encouragement, enthusiasm and wisdom.

Arlo Guthrie, Songwriter, Son of Woody Guthrie

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