Adopt a Monarch, Support Ottawa Refuge!

Sep 9, 2020 | Ottawa Outdoors | 0 comments

Thousands of Monarch butterflies dramatically lined the trees at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 8-10, 2018. (Photo by Dorthy Baker)

There are many who remember September 2018, a spectacular month when thousands of migrating Monarch butterflies descended on the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge along the Lake Erie shoreline in Oak Harbor. The butterflies were on their southerly 3,000-mile migration to Mexico.

Friends of Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge are now offering a unique opportunity to help support wildlife and habitat conservation efforts — and where it matters most.

“The Adopt a Monarch program was launched in August as a way to share our love of nature with the community while raising funds for the wildlife refuge,” said Executive Director Aimee Arent of the Friends of Ottawa NWR. “We normally raise Monarchs in the Refuge Visitor Center for people to learn more about their life cycle and migration.

“With our Visitor Center still closed (because of COVID-19), this has become a fun way for us to stay connected.”

Executive Director Aimee Arent released several tagged butterflies at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge as part of a citizen science effort to learn more about their 3,000-mile migration. (Photo by Theresa Emahiser)

Those who Adopt a Monarch through Friends of Ottawa NWR will receive:

Personalized video of Monarchs being tagged and released.

Unique tag code and “naming rights” for the butterfly.

Certificate of Adoption.

Ottawa Refuge Monarch Patch.

Pack of common milkweed seed to help create habitat for Monarchs.

Monarchs can be adopted on the Friends website at for a $50 donation to Friends of Ottawa NWR.

“Butterfly releases are a meaningful, eco-friendly alternative to balloon or lantern releases in honor or in memory of loved ones,” said Arent. “Others name their butterfly something humorous. One of my favorites, so far, has been ‘Ima Flutterby.’”

Those who wish to look for migrating Monarchs may do so on the Ottawa Refuge hiking trails from sunrise to sunset every day. The Wildlife Drive is also scheduled to be open weekends through Sept.20 (closed September 13). Peak Monarch migration in northwest Ohio is typically the first two weeks of September.

Donations help to support conservation efforts at the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, including land restoration, youth services and public access projects.

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