Giant City State Park events feature monarch butterflies, campfire, grass ID, bats

Programs and activities about monarch butterflies, a campfire, grass identification and bats are planned at Giant City State Park near Makanda.

The activities are free. Those who plan to attend are asked to make a reservation. 

A reservation or registration, as well as more information, are available by calling the Giant City State Park visitors center at 618-457-4836.

Here’s a look at the schedule of events:

Monarch Butterflies: During the entire month of September, Giant City State Park is celebrating the monarch butterfly by participating in a tagging program. 

Every fall, thousands of monarch butterflies migrate south to Central Mexico. Giant City is a stopping point for the butterflies.

Community members are invited to come out and help the University of Kansas track the butterflies by participating in a tagging program.

Any time between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., those who want to participate are invited to stop by the visitors center for a quick tutorial about the monarch butterfly. 

Participants also will learn the correct way to catch them and ideas on where to find them in the park. 

After the tutorial, visitors will be encouraged to head to the field to try and catch a butterfly or two. 

Butterflies will be brought back to the visitors center, where they will be tagged and released. All supplies and instructions will be provided.

Campfire Program: A campfire program is planned from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Campfire veteran “Short Face Bear” will share interactive fun, music and stories with an appreciation for nature, the timeless space of campfire and Giant City State Park.

Grass Identification: A grass identification program is planned from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 22.

Erin Garret with University of Illinois Extension will offer tips and techniques to help identify several different common grasses which can be found in Southern Illinois. 

An indoor presentation will be followed by a short outdoor hike.

Bats of Giant City: The bats of Giant City will be the topic of a program planned from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.

University of Illinois Extension wildlife specialist Joy O’Keefe knows about bats. 

The program will begin with a short talk. Participants then will go for a walk on a trail with acoustic bat detectors.





The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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