Monarch Festival Flies into Cape May for First Time

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CAPE MAY, N.J. -

Looking for plans Down the Shore this weekend?

Fly on over to Cape May’s Monarch Festival.

“We have tagging demonstrations, we have tours of our wildlife habitat, we have crafts and games for all of our families that are coming,” said Brendan Schaffer, a teacher for the New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May.

“We have live music, a beer and wine garden. It’s going to be a great time.”

For the first time, the New Jersey Audubon Nature Center of Cape May is inviting the community over to learn a little bit more about those colorful creatures that stop in South Jersey during their migration season.

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“So they kind of follow the pathway of the coast, and when we get some good winds they blow them into the diverse habitats here in Cape May,” said Schaffer.

In recent years, their numbers have been declining, but there have been a few recent spottings of Monarch butterfly clusters passing through the shore town.

“The fact that we’re now seeing these numbers and seeing these animals like that, it’s a good sign, ” said Schaffer.

The higher number of habitats and food sources for these insects and other animals, a bigger population of animals will pass through Cape May County.

“The ability for an animal to find space and food, you know, is going to affect their population,” said Schaffer. “So if they have less food sources or less places to call home, then their numbers are going to go down.”

Although the Monarch Festival is free, $5 donations are being accepted.

The public will be welcomed to a variety of different demonstrations, crafts, activities, and will be given plenty of information on how they can have a hand in helping the butterfly population thrive.

“Whether it be planting a little bit of milk weed or other plants, learning about the diverse habitat that we have here, it’s very easy to set a little side of your garden or property up to foster this habitat for different animals,” said Schaffer. 

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