Marshfield Monarch releases over 100 butterflies for migration

Marshfield Monarch
Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 9:11 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WSAW) - Monarch migration season is approaching, but in Marshfield, butterflies are getting a jumpstart to their travels.

Marshfield Monarch, a family operation of raising monarchs, started five years ago. “We love them. we read that only one out of 10 to 20 monarchs actually make it out of the wild to become a butterfly,” Melissa Gwiazda said.

But with the help of Melissa and Jim, more monarchs are able to spread their wings. “Some actually will travel up to 3,000 miles,” Melissa said. “They can travel all the way from Canada, and all the way down to Mexico.”

And with the help of others, they can track the butterflies. “Whoever finds them will put the numbers that are on the tags into the database,” Jim explained.

The database is called ‘Monarch Watch.’ “It’s kind of a neat thing,” he added.

The couple’s efforts are also keeping the butterflies from going extinct. “This is just one thing we could do to hopefully make a difference,” Melissa said.

They even make a difference in the lives around them. “When other people come to release them, it’s really special to them,” Jim said.

“The joy that other people get out of it, the things that we can help them with just through these butterflies, it means a lot to us, it keeps us going,” Melissa added.

The couple started out with one egg five years ago when it was brought to them. Melissa explained every year since, they’ve kept growing in the number of monarchs they’ve raised. The couple is now raising 1,000. And they said they don’t think they will stop anytime soon.

The two have also been working with Marshfield Utilities to build habitats for the butterflies.

To follow along on their journey of raising monarchs, click here.

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