Oil Creek State Park holds monarch program

A tagged monarch butterfly is seen in this photo taken by Betsy Carroll of Oil City.

Forty people including children, parents and butterfly enthusiasts attended a program on monarch butterflies Sunday at Oil Creek State Park. Young attendees helped tag and release seven monarchs.

The butterflies were raised by park naturalist Chris Mosebach.

Mosebach gave a program on the facts about monarchs and their life cycle.

He took participants on a hike to identify wildflowers that provide food for the butterflies and enlisted the youngsters’ help to tag the butterflies so they can be tracked as they travel south to their wintering grounds in Mexico.

The tagging program is offered through Monarch Watch. Mosebach has to complete and return data sheets so the information, including the location and date tagged, can be entered into a database that will tell participants if any of their tagged monarchs were recovered in Mexico.

Oil Creek State Park has a butterfly and pollinator garden outside of the park office with plantings of milkweed and flowers that are food sources for monarchs and other butterflies.

Program attendees were able to take home a milkweed pod with seeds to plant and a poster explaining the monarch’s life cycle.