Year of the Butterfly

The monarch butterfly or simply monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae.

The monarch butterfly has long been a symbol of life, regeneration, and hope. Widely recognized around the globe, the monarch is known in Central, North, and South America for the beauty of its metamorphosis and multigenerational migration.

Monarchs are migrating north and you can track their progress at Journey North

Check back often as new activities and information is added.

Butterfly Jokes
(See the bottom of the page for answers.)

1. Why did the kid throw the butter out the window?

2. Why didn’t the butterfly go to the dance?

3. What are caterpillars afraid of?

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

Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest,West Cook Wild Ones, Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, and Interfaith Green Network thank everyone who has joined in this effort to bring the Year of the Butterfly to Life.

Come explore the Year of the Butterfly events and join us as we learn more about pollinator-friendly spaces.

April

Ongoing: Year of the Butterfly Instagram, Brooks Earth Action Team, All Ages

Ongoing: Year of the Butterfly Month by Month Resources, The Brooks Earth Action Team, All Ages

Ongoing: West Cook Wild Ones Pre-Order Native Plant Sale (Pick-up June 3-5)

April 1- 30: All About Milkweed and How to Grow It, Ascension Catholic Church, All Ages

April 15: Learn & Grow Plant Dividing, Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, Adults

April 22: Discovery Kit Book bag, Oak Park Public Library Year of the Butterfly, Families

May

May 1: Milkweed Seed Giveaway, River Forest Public Library, All Ages

May 5: Virtual Butterfly Storytime, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

May 6: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

May 7: McDonald Farm Visit, Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest, Adults

May 12: Virtual Butterfly Storytime, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

May 12: Virtual Butterfly Gardening Program, Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest, Adults (Zoom)

May 13: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

May 16: Monarch Conservation and the Illinois Monarch
Project, West Cook Wild Ones, Teens & Adults

May 19: Virtual Butterfly Storytime, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

May 19: Milkweed Map, Oak Park and River Forest High School Environmental Club, All Ages

May 20: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

May 22: Seed Giveaway at Oak Park Farmers Market, Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest, Families

May 26: Virtual Butterfly Storytime, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

May 27: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

June

June 1- 30: Dial-A-Story on Monarch Butterfly, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

June 1: Children’s Pollinator Garden, Wonder Works Children’s Museum, All Ages

June 1: Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Kits, Including Milkweed Seed Kits, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

June 3: Spring Native Plant Sale Pick Up, West Cook Wild Ones, Teens & Adults

June 3: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

June 4 & 5: Pollinator Plant Sale, Oak Park Conservatory, All Ages

June 6: Migration Signage, Julian Middle School Green Team, All Ages

June 7: Virtual Origami Butterfly Video, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

June 10: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

June 11: Rain Garden Video Tour, Village of Oak Park, All Ages

June 11: Summer Reading Program Challenge, Oak Park Public Library, Families

June 12: Learn About Butterflies & Moths with Oak Park Public Library & Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, All Ages

June 13: Euclid Butterfly Garden Celebration, Euclid Ave United Methodist Church, All Ages

June 14: Origami Butterfly Kits, Oak Park Public Library, Families

June 17: Monarch Thursdays, Trailside Museum, All Ages

June 27: Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Kit, OPRF Garden Walk, Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest, Families

JUNE 27. Information on pollinator gardens at Garden Walk, All Ages

TBD Tour of Butterfly Garden at Dominican University. Contact Joan Meister
The committee is open to other ideas you may have. Contact any of the members listed above.

July

July 1-31: Dial-A-Story on Monarch Butterfly, Oak Park Public Library, All Ages

July 10: Learn About Bees, Flies & Wasps with Trailside Museum of Natural History & Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, All Ages

July 18: Native Predatory Wasps: Their Role as Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, West Cook Wild Ones, Teens and Adults

July 22: Planting for Monarch Butterflies in All Their Life Stages, Trailside Museum, Adults

July 24: Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour, West Cook Wild Ones, All Ages

August

August 1: Parkways for Pollinators, River Forest Sustainability Commission, Families

August 9: Outdoor Butterfly Story Time, River Forest Public Library, Families

August 9: Story Garden, River Forest Public Library, Families

August 10: Live Virtual Story Time, River Forest Public Library, Families

August 12: Outdoor Butterfly Story Time, River Forest Public Library, Families

August 14: Learn About Bats & Pollinator Friends with WonderWorks Children’s Museum & Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory, All Ages

August 21: Insect Pollinator Sketching, Trailside Museum, Adults

August 28: Raising Monarch Butterflies, Trailside Museum, Families

September

September 12: Migrating Monarch Butterfly Festival, Trailside Museum, All Ages

TBD. Tour of Butterfly Garden at Dominican University.

Butterfly and native plant news
Monarchs are migrating north and you can track their progress at Journey North: Journey North

Here is an Excellent NYTimes article by Margaret Renkl about why we should all plant natives in our gardens: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/28/opinion/immigrant-plants-ecosystem.html

Check out what your neighbors are doing for the Year of the Butterfly

Illinois Monarch Project

Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory Year of the Butterfly Program
FOPCON.ORG/year-of-the-butterfly

Chicago’s Hyde Park Neighborhood Monarch Program
University of Chicago Service League’s Monarch Program

Andersonville Neighborhood Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Andersonville Neighborhood Monarch Sanctuary

Answers 1.To see the butter fly! 2. Because it was a moth ball! 3. Doger-pillars!