Late in 2017 Kerry Jarvis submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources an “Application for a Wildlife Scientific Collectors Authorization for 2018 & 2019.” The application included the names of ten families who would participate in the capture, rearing and release program for Monarch Butterflies.
Kerry Jarvis and Melitta Smole founders of the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores have been instrumental in establishing the butterfly gardens you see throughout our beautiful community.
In June of 2018, Kerry approached me to see if my daughter Sarah and I would like to be the coordinators for the Family rearing program. On July 12 we met with the other nine families, discussed the intent of the program and passed out the new butterfly nets and clip boards.
Over the course of the next three months, eight out of ten families released ninety-four adult Monarch Butterflies. Although we had the eggs and caterpillars in ideal conditions free from predators, we still had some mortality. The mortality rate was far below what the eggs and caterpillars would have experienced in the wild.
We did learn that as the caterpillars enter their final stage, they are ferocious eaters. They will eat every piece of milk weed in its path including the very small eggs on the leaves.
Watching the caterpillar morph into its final stage is a remarkable experience. It’s one thing to watch it on YouTube and yet something else to see it in real life. Releasing the butterflies can be a challenge full of fun!
Submitted by: Chris and Sarah Poole
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores (BGOSS) recently participated in the 30th annual Wildlife Habitat Council Conference in Baltimore, Maryland with an exhibit booth. With over 400 delegates, BGOSS had an opportunity to showcase the many projects they have been working on and to share copies of the Caterpillar Corner Activity Book.
Children learned and discovered how and why Monarchs are tagged as part of the Caterpillar Corner program led by Barb, Melitta and Kerry at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre in Southampton. Just look at the expressions on the children’s faces as they release a tagged monarch butterfly. Priceless!
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores and Caterpillar Corner had lots of fun with 16 children who belong to the “For our Youth“ club of the Ripley Horticultural Society. They learned, observed and discovered all about Monarch butterflies, native plants and played citizen scientist by tagging Monarchs. Children had fun singing the BGOSS song, “Come Fly With Me” and doing activities from the popular Caterpillar Corner Activity Book. You can read more about our time together in this article from The Kincardine Record.
Children from the Ripley Youth Horticultural group had a fun time learning, discovering, observing and tagging Monarchs at Perkins Park as part of BGOSS new program, called Caterpillar Corner. Children were given copies of the CC Activity Book to help them learn and identify milkweed and native plants.
BGOSS gets lots of visitors to our pods. One visitor shared their experience in an email.
“You guys are great! Just visited a few of your pods today while passing through to Tobermory. Great job everyone! I have raised Monarchs for over 50 years. I have made many Monarch friends through FB. I am from Chatham/Kent and Erieau down south on Lake Erie. You all have done a fabulous job. Keep it up!. Thank you Thank you.”
Come out and join Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores on their annual Community Tagging Day on Friday, August 31 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (rain date: Saturday, September 1, 10:00 am – 12 noon). We will start our tagging along the Captain Spence Path in Southampton where we will meet at the Big Flag.
The latest free post card from BGOSS is now available from BGOSS. Have fun colouring in the logo of Caterpillar Corner and sending the post card to your friends, family and neighbours.
Post cards are available at BGOSS pod posts, Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce, Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and MacGregor Point Provincial Park.
Our marvelous milkweed give-away was a great success. Three milkweed species, common, swamp and butterfly flower were shared with the community. A special thanks to Grange Hollow Gardens & Nursery, our official plant supplier and to Bruce Power, our partner sponsor.
Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores has just launched its Caterpillar Corner Activity Book. This 24 page, beautifully illustrated book follows the journey of Avery and Fernando, — sister and brother Monarch butterflies, who were raised in Saugeen Shores. Join Avery and Fernando in this fun-filled activity book. Discover their world by exploring the BGOSS pods, and along the way learn about the importance of milkweed and native plants.
The CC Activity Book is ideal for youth 4 – 12 years of age. It was created by Barb Willner, Melitta Smole and Kerry Jarvis and illustrated by Stacey Hill from Bruce Power.
Pick up your free copy at the BGOSS Nature Library, Saugeen Shores libraries, Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce tourists offices, Turtle Crossing, Carey Optical and the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.