Media/Photo Op Advisory - Monarchs Get Ready for Migration to Mexico

- Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival Celebrates Butterfly Conservation, Biodiversity and Family Fun on August 21 -

TORONTO, Aug. 6 /CNW/ - Between August and November each year, Monarch butterflies migrate more than 3,500 kilometres from Canada to Mexico where they spend the winter. This incredible migration begins with the gathering of Monarchs at places like Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto's unique urban wilderness, and the largest area of natural habitat on the city's central waterfront. Celebrate this phenomenon on Saturday, August 21 at the second annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival. Children, families and nature lovers can experience Monarchs up close at this hands-on conservation event sponsored by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA), Ontario Nature and Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

WHEN: Saturday, August 21, 2010 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

  • Some activities require registration. Visit www.butterflyfest.ca for activity details and registration.
  • For media registration, please see contact information below.

WHAT: Butterfly Migration Festival

  • Free!
  • Guided walks through park meadows to view migratory butterflies
  • Live Monarch butterfly tagging demonstration by experts
  • Plant native wildflowers, distribute native seeds
  • Learn how to grow a garden to attract and sustain butterflies
  • View insect and butterfly displays - learn from expert entomologists
  • See birds of prey presented by Wildlife Education & Environmental Education (WEEP), University of Guelph

WHERE: Tommy Thompson Park, 3 Leslie Street, south of Lake Shore Boulevard East. Free parking is available at the TTP parking lot or on Unwin Avenue and Leslie Street.
TTC directions: #83 Jones S. bus to Commissioner Street and Leslie Street, or Queen Streetcar to Leslie Street stop.

NOTE: The park shuttle van will run throughout the festival area, but bicycles and walking shoes are recommended. Private vehicles and pets are not permitted in the park.

"As meadow enhancements continue and mature we are hoping to see an improvement in the number of butterfly species and their populations at the park. At the annual North American Butterfly Count volunteers counted almost 200 butterflies of 16 species at Tommy Thompson Park, including the first record of a Wild Indigo Duskywing," said Karen McDonald, Toronto and Region Conservation, project manager. "We are very excited about this sighting and look forward to celebrating butterflies and Toronto's amazing biodiversity at the second annual Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival."

"Observing butterflies in their native habitat is a great hands-on way to learn about nature. Kids are naturally attracted to butterflies because of their intriguing shapes and colours and their accessibility," said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature's executive director. "The Butterfly Migration Festival is a great way to celebrate the Monarch's epic fall journey to Mexico and to learn about conserving Ontario's butterfly species."

About TRCA
With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at www.trca.on.ca or www.ttpbrs.ca


About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and over 140 member groups across Ontario. For more information, call 416-444-8419 or www.ontarionature.org


About OPG Biodiversity
OPG Biodiversity is a series of conservation-focused, family-friendly events sponsored by Ontario Power Generation in partnership with Ontario Nature, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Earth Rangers, LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), Rouge Park and Trees Ontario. Its goal is to spread the word about protecting and conserving biodiversity in our urban parklands and forest ecosystems, making it easy for people to get involved with the environment and help fight climate change. OPG Biodiversity is part of OPG's commitment to conserve, sustain and protect nature.

For further information on these and other upcoming events, visit opgbiodiversity.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Power Generation Inc.

For further information: For further information:

For media information contact:

Rowena Calpito, Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation
T: 416.661.6600 ext 5632, C: 416.358.3446, E: rcalpito@trca.on.ca

Victoria Foote, Director of Communications, Ontario Nature
T: 416.444.8418 ext.238, E: victoriaf@ontarionature.org

Media Desk, Ontario Power Generation
T: 1.877.592.4008, E: media@opg.com


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