Monarch butterfly. (Photo by Karl Schilling)

Today’s Bee and Butterfly Festival at a park in Okoboji will give participants a chance to help track the flight of Monarchs. Bryanna Kuhlman is environmental education coordinator for the Dickinson County Nature Center.

“Everyone can come and tag a Monarch butterfly as they journey to Mexico,” she says.

The lightweight, coded tags help chart the timing and pace of the migration — and how many of the Monarchs complete the journey. The annual Bee and Butterfly Festival is staged at Kenue Park in Okoboji and features food and activities for kids, plus a demonstration about controlled burning.

“Our maintenance staff is going to bring some of our prescribed fire equipment so folks will get to shoot water at pretend flames,” Kuhlman says.

Prescribed fires — also known as controlled burns — are planned and are a way to restore areas where periodic fires reduce the number of overcrowded trees and burn up flammable materials that could fuel a wildfire.

(By Ed Funston, KILR, Estherville)