2021 Year of the Butterfly

We are all ready for some hope. Butterflies symbolize hope and renewal and also need our help.  We want to work together and spark hopeful action to support butterflies through activities, engagement, and education.

Inspired and guided by the Illinois Monarch Project, the Year of the Butterfly is a cooperative effort of local organizations to bring community awareness about how to support healthy habitats for butterflies and other pollinators. Throughout the summer various groups will provide activities for families, lectures for adults, book recommendations, and plant sales.  All programs will help to inform residents about butterflies, especially monarchs, some of the dangers they face, and what can be done to help.

Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, Interfaith Green Network, and West Cook Wild Ones thank all groups participating in creating the Year of the Butterfly.

Read our post about how to be friendly to the many species of butterflies that call Oak Park, River Forest, and surrounding towns home by reading our article Local Guide to Butterfly Gardening in the Chicago Region.

Often butterfly enthusiasts want to help monarch conservation efforts by hand-rearing monarch caterpillars.  Please remember that scientists recommend rearing no more than 10 caterpillars per season for educational purposes.  The best way you can help monarchs is by providing milkweed and nectar plants and allowing the rest to unfold naturally.  For more information, please read “Keeping Monarchs Wild: Why Captive Rearing Isn’t the Way to Help Monarchs” by Emma Pelton on the Xerces Society Blog and “Joint Statement Regarding Captive Breeding and Releasing of Monarchs” signed by several conservation organizations.

Please join West Cook Wild Ones for the following events:

Native Plant Sale:  Pre-order your milkweed and nectar plants!  Pre-orders now through May 18 at WCWO Native Plant Sale;  Contact free pick-up of orders will be June 3-5

May 16 2:30 pm Seminar:  Learn about monarch butterflies and discover how we can “Be the Super Generation That Saves the Monarch Butterfly” with Terri Treacy of the Illinois Monarch Program.

July 18 2:30 pm Seminar: Learn about other pollinators at our “Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects by Heather Holm, biologist, pollinator conservationists and author, event registration coming soon

July 24 1:30-4:30 Activity: Native Garden Walk will feature six gardens for in person tours.  Event registration coming soon.  We are looking for gardens to be part of our tour! Interested?  Apply here by April 23, 2021:  Birds, Bees and Butterflies: Native Garden Tour Application

September 19 2:30 pm SeminarCreating Butterfly Habitats: Through the Seasons with Stephanie Walquist. Learn how to ensure your garden is butterfly-friendly with our (No) Fall Garden Cleanup presentation.  Event registration here: Eventbrite.

For more Year of the Butterfly activities, flutter over to Year of the Butterfly page hosted by Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory.