Monarch Day - September 26, 2021
Join us as we celebrate monarchs in the fall before they take flight for their migration south to Mexico for the winter. Learn about this amazing journey with a public release of tagged Monarchs, pollinator plant give away (first come, while supplies last), activities, and information about how you can help the Monarchs on their journey. Monarch releases will occur every half hour from 11am to 4pm on Sunday, September 26. Enter your name for a chance to release a Monarch (entries collected 15 minutes prior to each release at Central Plaza in the Zoo) or purchase a Monarch to guarantee your chance to release one of these amazing butterflies.
John Ball Zoo was able to tag and release 80 Monarchs in 2020!
Monitor Monarch Migration
Tagged monarchs that are recovered along their spring migration North
are recoreded and a list is published usually in late spring.
To see if your monarch was found by a scientist, visit Monarch Watch.
Remember it may take several months before your tag number will show up in the tracking system.
How You Can Help At Home
Whether it's a stop on their migration route or a summer long home, monarchs need habitat to find food, lay eggs and be a caterpillar. You can help these butterflies by adding milkweed to your gardens or by creating a full butterfly waystation. A waystation has everything butterflies need for their entire life cycle. Milkweed plants play a vital role in the life cycle of a monarch as it is the only plant that eggs will be laid on and that caterpillars will eat! After forming a chrysalis and emerging as a butterfly, they will need nectar producing flowers to feed on until they are able to start the cycle again. To find out more about how you can help visit https://rivercitygrandrapids.wildones.org/.
Animal Sponsorship: Animals! Animals!
Sponsor a Monarch through Animals! Animals!, John Ball Zoo's animal sponsorship program! Our mission is to inspire people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. We care for more than 1,300 animals representing 200 species. By sponsoring a Monarch today, your sponsorship will support animals at John Ball Zoo as well as animals around the world through our Conservation Fund.
*Limited monarch plushes available. Please consider sponsoring one of our other amazing animals if monarchs are unavailable to help support the zoo!