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Become a Scientist

at the 1st Annual

Learn & Grow at the Mountain Monarch Festival!

Between the arts, crafts, live music, and great food, the Mountain Monarch Festival offers exemplary options to learn about and participate in science! 

Monarch Butterflies are one of WNC's native butterfly species with an impressive migration pattern. Their scientific name, Danaus plexippus, meaning 'sleepy transformation' refers to their cycle of hibernation and metamorphosis. Recently listed as Endangered, researchers are working to protect, educate, and monitor this delicate species. 

Become an active participant in this effort! The Mountain Monarch Festival will feature educational programs for scientists of all ages. Click the link below for additional information regarding scheduling and registration. 

Learn More

Monarch Life-Cycle Presentation

In school we learn about the water cycle and the moon cycle. But how much do we know about the life cycle of the most recently listed Endangered species, the Monarch? Do you know how many stages there are? (Hint: it's more than 2) Check out the Monarch Life-Cycle Presentation at 11:30am at the Visitor Center to learn more about how this fascinating species becomes the butterfly we recognize today!

Monarch Tagging & Research

Have you ever wondered how researchers know where and how Monarchs migrate? Through scientific tagging! Tagging is a simple and effective way that community members can participate in research. Check out the Monarch Tagging & Research event at 1:30pm at the Visitor Center to learn more!

Keynote Speaker: Heyward Douglas

A native to these Southern Appalachians, Heyward Douglas has been working in biology and conservation his whole life. After graduating from Clemson University with a B.S. in Biology and a masters in Entomology (the study of insects), Douglas worked as a Park Naturalist at Oconee and Table Rock State Parks in South Carolina, just down the escarpment from Gorges! With this foundation, he moved his efforts back to his alma mater and worked as an Entomologist for Clemson University Extension Service. Heyward Douglas has served on the Board of Directors of the Foothills Trail Conservancy (FTC) since 1989 and as Chairman from 1999 to 2005. In 2012, he stepped up as FTC Executive Director where he served in this role for 9 years! In 2020, Douglas visited the Monarch Butterfly wintering area in Mexico.

Hear Heyward Douglas speak about Monarch Migration at the Mountain Monarch Festival on September 24th at 12:30pm at the park Visitor Center. 

Put your newfound Monarch knowledge to the test on our guided Monarch Hike at 2:30pm at the Mountain Monarch Festival!

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Friends of Gorges
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Sapphire, NC 29774-0049

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Friends of Gorges · P.O. Box 92 · Sapphire, NC 29774-0049 · USA

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