Spend time romancing the monarch butterflies

You’ll get the chance to waltz with the butterflies.

Lake Granbury Master Gardeners (LGMG) will host “Romancing the Monarchs – A Butterfly Festival,” Sunday afternoon, Nov. 5 at their Demonstration and Research Garden.

Events, including a release of monarch butterflies, children’s crafts and one-on-one gardening instruction, begin at 1:30 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m.

The Demonstration Garden, located behind Hood County Annex 1 at 1410 W. Pearl St., in Granbury, attracts several butterfly species including the monarch with its abundant nectar-producing plants, such as native lantana and coral honeysuckle.

Festival attendees are encouraged to net, identify and tag monarch butterflies visiting the garden.

Children may register at 1:30 p.m. to participate in the limited release of live butterflies.

The goal of the festival is to celebrate the monarch’s migration through Texas while providing instruction on how to identify them, encourage their visits and support the butterflies as they travel along their southerly route. The day’s activities are designed to engage people of all ages. These activities include:

Release of live monarchs, which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

Netting, identification and tagging. Participants will be taught how to distinguish between butterfly species.

After netting a monarch, they will place a small sticker on the butterfly, which will enable tracking.

Becoming citizen scientists. Attendees will be encouraged to join the Monarch Watch, thereby contributing to the research that is being conducted regarding the decline of the monarch population.

One-on-one gardening coaching. Master Gardeners will provide one-on-one gardening and landscape design consultations to assist visitors in creating their own butterfly gardens.

To aid understanding, pollinator plants and sample garden designs will be on display.

Migration station. Education videos documenting the monarch’s life cycle and migration will be on hand for viewing.

Children’s festival. Face painting, rock painting, crafts, music, clowns, balloon-making and more will be offered to young visitors.

Children are encouraged to attend the festival dressed as butterflies.

Plant sale. Milkweed plants, which are the only plants on which monarchs lay eggs, will be sold.

Garden tours. Visitors are free to tour the demonstration garden, which is filled with roses, grasses, vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and blooming perennials.

There is no charge for this community festival, which is open to the public.

For more information, contact the AgriLife Extension in Hood County by phone: 817-579-3280, fax: 817-408-2533, email: [email protected] or online at hood.agrilife.org.