BGOSS Family Rearing Program 2018

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!

Girl holding a monarch butterfly and a tagged monarch butterfly

Submitted by: Chris and Sarah Poole

Caterpillar Corner Has Fun with Kids from Ripley

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.

BGOSS Visitor Feedback

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.”

Picture of the mural at Perkins Park.

Caterpillar Corner Activity Book Now Available

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.