GRAPEVINE — The annual pilgrimage of Monarch butterflies to Mexico runs right through this north Texas city.In honor of the trip, Grapevine honors the colorful species each year with a festival. Jenny Singleton of Grapevine, considered to be a Monarch guru, said last year’s event drew about 5,000 viewers.The 16th Annual Butterfly Flutterby will be held Oct. 19. The day begins with a Butterfly Costume Parade. The 10 a.m. parade will follow a new route, starting at East Wall and Jenkins Streets (across from City Hall) and ending at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens at Heritage Park, 411 Ball St.Children and pets are invited to wear their favorite butterfly costume. Registration for the costume parade begins at 8:45 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to registered parade participants. Judging will occur for different age categories, pets and groups. After the parade, highlights at the botanical gardens through 2 p.m. will include butterfly exhibits and opportunities to participate in butterfly arts and crafts. Live butterfly releases will occur throughout the event. The Grapevine Garden Club’s Plant Native-Plant Now sale, slated from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the same site, will offer nectar and host plants for butterflies and feature native and adapted trees and shrubs. Experienced gardeners will be available to assist festival-goers in selecting landscape plants.Proceeds from Butterfly Flutterby and Plant Native-Plant Now benefit the Grapevine Botanical Gardens Greenhouse Project.For information, go to www.Grapevinegardenclub.org, www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com. Singleton, a Monarch Watch volunteer and seasoned butterfly tag wrangler, will be among those celebrating the monarch butterfly migration.She regularly speaks on monarch’s, their life cycle and how landscaping can help the monarchs succeed in their migration.According to Singleton, October is when monarch butterflies make their annual migration to Mexico; and Grapevine is right in their flight path.“As these colorful butterflies pass through our area, they will be visiting our gardens looking for nectar provided by blooms,” said Singleton, a Grapevine Garden Club member.A Grapevine resident for 26 years, Singleton is a retired educator and community volunteer who enjoys introducing children to nature and the life cycle of monarch butterflies.She has been involved in Grapevine’s Butterfly Flutterby festival since its inception — caring for, tagging and distributing the butterflies to the children for release. For more than 20 plus years, Singleton has been involved with an ongoing research program sponsored by Monarch Watch and the University of Kansas that tags monarchs. Monarchs tagged in Texas have been tracked by the numbering system to their overwintering grounds in central Mexico, helping scientists study their population. “This is especially important today, as monarch butterfly populations are in a steady decline due to loss of habitat and the ongoing drought in their migratory path,” Singleton said.Singleton said the Grapevine event gives her the opportunity to teach people about the life cycle of the insect and its migratory patterns, as well as beneficial plants the monarchs depend on. She also will provide simple backyard landscape ideas to help bring back the monarch butterfly.“I want to help people understand how their backyard can help the monarch butterfly succeed in its journey,” she said.
Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367