Sign up for Monarch Mania or Monarch Magic and learn how to tag butterflies so scientists can track their migration from Kansas City to Mexico and back.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering free sessions for the public to learn about monarchs and also to tag butterflies to help scientists track their migrations.

Monarch butterflies that spent last winter in Mexico rode a powerful south wind into the Kansas City region in early April, arriving so early the milkweed needed to feed the next generation had barely spouted from the ground. Now as autumn arrives, those following generations are beginning a migration back south.

The Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will offer Monarch Magic sessions from 1 – 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 and Thursday, September 21. Attendees will learn about monarch migrations and also have a chance to tag monarchs. The tags are tiny paper circles affixed to a wing and bearing a tracking number. If the tag is found and reported, scientists can tell where the butterfly was tagged and how far it traveled. Advance registration is required for these sessions by calling 816-228-3766. Burr Oak Woods is located at 1401 NW Park Road, Blue Springs, MO.

The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City, MO will offer free Monarch Mania from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. MDC staff will talk about how citizens can help by planting monarch-friendly native plants. Milkweed and other native plant giveaways and hands-on butterfly themed crafts will be offered. Attendees will also have a chance to tag live monarchs.

For information about Monarch Mania at the Discovery Center, call 816-759-7300. To learn more about monarch butterflies in Missouri, visit MDC.