There's a flutter of activity around the Gateway Arch lately.
Catherine Werner said, “It's peak season for monarchs to migrate south to Mexico. I have been at the Arch this time of year and captured pictures of butterflies right in front of the Arch so this is the best time for that possibility.”
Which is why the City of St. Louis is teaming up with the National Park Service for a special event Saturday. The Great MonArch Migration Event will take place at Luther Ely Smith Square. Among the many activities, there will be a photo contest, so get out your camera and be ready to snap monarchs flying past the Arch.
“It's really to celebrate the migration of the monarch butterfly but in a way that makes it fun and engaging for people,” she said.
This is the first time The Great MonArch migration event will be held. But the city has had a monarch conservation program since 2014. Thanks to that program, there are now 400 monarch butterfly gardens throughout the city.
“We're going to be giving out nectar plants down at the Arch provided by Greenscape Gardens Nursery on Saturday,” Werner said.
Pollinator experts will have activities set up at the Arch's Luther Ely Smith Square as part of the event.
Ed Spevak from the St. Louis Zoo, said, “We like people to understand it's not just about monarchs its about all the other pollinators particularly the native bees… So, one of the easiest things the St. Louis Zoo has done with our events is making these PVC pipe bee hotels. You just want to place this near your garden to make sure the bees have their pollen and nectar sources.”
Monarch butterflies will be heading south through mid-October.
“It's the entire Mississippi flyway where the migratory birds go but this is really the central portion where a lot of monarchs will come,
The perfect excuse to get out and enjoy nature.
The event is happening Saturday, September 30th at Luther Ely Smith Square (between Fourth Street & the Gateway Arch).
There’s free breakfast, prizes and because this event coincides with National Public Lands Day, you'll get $3 off tram rides to the top of the Arch
It runs from 9 till noon. For more information, visit stlouis-mo.gov/monarchs.