BTG’s “Monarch Moments” Mondays 12:15

This exciting series has an impressive lineup of speakers so settle in with your lunch at Smith Wilkes Hall.  After each Monarch Moments presentation, we'll discuss monarch-friendly gardening techniques and celebrate the efforts of those who have certified their Chautauqua gardens with Monarch Watch. Our hope is to transform Chautauqua's grounds into the country's first community-wide monarch waystation! 

Monarchpalooza!” the very popular hands-on monarch event at Lincoln Park, occurs biennially.  People of all ages will be able to hand-feed adult monarchs and interact with the species in every stage of its development. Milkweed plants will be available for purchase at this event.

The first certified Monarch Watch Waystation on the Grounds was established and dedicated in 2016 as a collaborative effort between BTG and the Chautauqua Institution. In concert with BTG’s newest initiative, Butterflies & Blooms, we’ll continue that effort this season, with the ultimate goal of certifying the entire Institution as a sanctuary for monarchs, the first in the nation!

During last year’s inaugural Monarch Moments season, we explored the plight and progress of the monarch butterfly.  We learned about this insect’s amazing migratory journey to and from the mountains of central Mexico and the perils it faces along the way. We learned that monarch populations remain dangerously low, due to factors like herbicide destruction of host and nectar plants, pesticide use, illegal logging in the monarchs’ overwintering grounds in Mexico, as well as non-human factors. 

We welcome children, teens, and adults to the Monarch Moments and hope that all ages will learn how they can be part of the solution!

Why do Monarchs Matter?

Monarchs are a bellwether for many other species.   They serve as indicators of biodiversity and their fragility makes them quick to react to external conditions such that their struggle to survive is a serious warning of environmental change.

Each monarch that dies due to human intervention—pesticides, herbicides, development, logging, and other factors—dies along with myriad other organisms that play a critical role in our food web.  By treating our environment more gently, respecting the creatures with which we call this earth home, we can continue to enjoy a rich, diverse, and functional natural world.  By eliminating even one critical link in the evolutionary chain that’s been built over millennia, we cheat ourselves and our descendants, not only of the wonder we enjoyed as children, but of our future understanding of the relationship between every creature and our world.

The BTG Monarch Team:

Members: Jack and Di Voelker, Roger and Judith Doebke, Caroline VanKirk Bissell, Chris Flanders, Angela James, Pari Tuthill, Lynda Acker, Suzanne Aldrich.

Email monarch questions to our team at

2017 Monarch Moments At a Glance

MONDAY June 26
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Adam Gollwitzer
and Students

“Monarch Populations Beyond Eastern North America”

12:15-1:15 p.m.
Beth Stevens, Ph.D. "Every Milkweed Matters”

MONDAY July 10
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Lori Stralow Harris
“Tales from the Caterpillar Ranch

12:00-3:00 p.m.

MONDAY July 17
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Betsy Burgeson “Munchkins & Monarchs: Ways to Engage & Empower Kids of All Ages in Saving the Monarchs”

MONDAY July 24
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Sharon Metcalf
The Ethics of Gardening”

MONDAY July 31
12:15-1:15 p.m.
Jack and Diane Voelker "Following the Monarchs to Mexico"

MONDAY August 7
12:15-1:15 p.m.
John Wenzel, Ph.D. “2,500 Miles on a Wing and a Prayer: How Do Monarchs Do it, and Can They Continue?”

MONDAY August 14, 12:15-1:15 p.m.
Julie Alm Holland Monarch Miracles - Taking You Places Beyond Your Imagination"