Kansas Wetlands Education Center to host Butterfly Festival

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC), 592 NE K156 Hwy, Great Bend, will host a Butterfly Festival from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 17.

From making milkweed seed bombs to tagging monarch butterflies, kids and adults will find plenty to do during this free event. In addition to old favorites – monarch tagging, insect zoo, crafts and door prizes – kids and adults can view a honey bee hive exhibit and add their “hand art” to the butterfly mural.

Nets and tags will be available for those who want to capture and tag monarch butterflies. Participants will receive information about the tagging process before heading out with a tagging leader to search for Monarch butterflies.

Last year’s tagging efforts resulted in the return of nine tags from winter roosts in Mexico. The tagged monarchs were found on Feb. 4, 24 and 26 and March 6 and 7 at El Rosario and Macheros Cerro Pelon.

Weather permitting, a honey bee hive will be on display in the insect zoo in addition to giant walking stick insects, hissing and peppered cockroaches, butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises. Plan to spend the morning at KWEC as door prizes will be presented just before noon, along with free milkweed plants.

Kids, and adults who want to be kids again, can play in the mud and make a take-home seed bomb, composed of clay, compost, water and native flower seeds. Visitors can also get some practice in by slinging premade milkweed seed bombs into KWEC’s prairie area using giant slingshots.

Find your inner insect by taking your photo at monarch butterfly and caterpillar photo boards. Create a butterfly, then paint your hands in the pattern and apply it to the butterfly mural. Refuel with light refreshments and drinks. Temporary tattoos, games and other activities round out the morning’s activities.

Milkweed plants, with growing instructions, will be available free to those who would like to encourage monarchs to their yards and gardens. Information on butterfly-friendly plants and other attractants will be available and visitors may also walk through the wildflower/butterfly garden to view examples of butterfly-friendly plants.

For more information, contact KWEC at 1-877-243-9268 or visit