Ozark Outdoors

Monarch tagging helps us learn from endangered butterflies

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What fun watching parents and grandparents watching their kids learn about Monarch butterflies at the annual tag and release event at the Springfield Botanical Gardens, a few steps away from the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House. Here’s a photo album that I hope lights up the inner child in you. The beautiful Monarchs were tagged and released to begin their migration to Mexico. No, it does not hurt or impede the butterfly, but it might help us understand and preserve this endangered species, who’s numbers have declined by 80 percent in recent years because of lost habitat and host plants (milkweed), deadly chemicals and a variety of highly intrusive two-legged proliferating primates commonly known as humans. Learn what you can do; you might have some fun along the way.

 — at Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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