Buy native plants and see how migrating monarchs are tagged at free event.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Butterflies and native plants depend on each other to survive so having a monarch butterfly program coincide with a native plant sale makes perfect sense.

People can purchase native plants and learn more about monarch butterflies on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center.

MDC will hold a native plant sale from 9 a.m.-noon at the Shoal Creek Education Center, which is at 201 W. Riviera Drive. People can stop by any time during the hours of the sale to purchase native plants and pick up information on how to work native plants into their landscaping plans, what native plants to select, and how these plants benefit wildlife. Participating plant vendors include Ozark Soul Native Plants, Missouri Wildflower Nursery, and Smiling Sun Gardens.

While the native plant sale is going on, the Shoal Creek Center will also hold a monarch festival from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This is the time of year monarchs are migrating to Mexico. People can participate in citizen science as migrating monarchs will be caught and tagged on the day of the event. Other monarch-themed activities will also be held throughout the morning. At a program from 10-10:30 a.m., people can learn more about monarch migration and the conservation efforts that are underway to help stop the decline of the population of these beneficial pollinating butterflies.

Registration is not required for the native plant sale or the monarch festival. For more information about either event or about other upcoming events at MDC’s Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, call 417-629-3434.