How far would a butterfly go to stay warm? Would you believe that Monarch butterfly in your front yard might make it all the way to Mexico? At Hungry Mother State Park, rangers love their bugs and are sharing the love in honor of National Public Lands Day. On Saturday, Sept. 28, join park staff in celebrating the pollinators that keep Hungry Mother and other public lands healthy and green.

At 10:30 a.m. meet at the boat ramp area off Mitchell Valley Road to learn about Monarchs as Ellen Reynolds of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm shares her butterfly knowledge and expertise. Learn tips for creating your own butterfly garden and then participate in a volunteer opportunity as staff tag and release Monarch butterflies to help track their migration.

Everyone is invited to bring a picnic lunch and stick around to continue volunteering at 1 p.m. to clean up the pre-existing Butterfly Garden to make it beautiful for park guests of the human variety and beneficial for guests of the insect variety.

Then, at 3 p.m., at the Discovery Center, visitors can learn about some of the pollinators that are loved at Hungry Mother, how they are depended on every single day, and what can be done to protect them.

This is a statewide free parking day, so enjoy these first beautiful days of fall with a hike, a bike ride, or a stroll through the park.

“With volunteer opportunities, educational programs, and plenty of beautiful park to enjoy there’s no reason not to spend your Saturday appreciating the beautiful public lands right here in our backyard,” said Lily Kingsolver, education support specialist at Hungry Mother State Park.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov

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