Monarch butterfly

COWICHE, Wash. — Dozens of newly emerged butterflies will set out on their life’s journey at the annual Music and Monarchs Butterfly Release Party on Sept. 9 in Cowiche.

The Cowiche Canyon Conservancy event will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at Cowiche Creek Brewing Company, 514 Thompson Road. It will feature the live music of Blake Noble, Australian guitarist and didgeridoo player.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or at www.cowichecanyon.org. Kids 12 and younger will be admitted free with an adult. Seating is picnic style; guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket.

The event celebrates local work to support the monarch butterfly, a species in decline all over the continent, a news release notes. This work is led by Dr. David James, associate professor of entomology at Washington State University, who established a long-term research project in 2012 to study the migration patterns and biology of monarchs in the Pacific Northwest.

The conservancy partners with James, working with volunteer citizen scientists to rear monarchs from egg or caterpillar to adult butterfly. Volunteers also mark adults with a small tag containing a contact email address and a unique ID number.

This program helps provide data on the fall migration of the monarch in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the monarchs released on Sept. 9 likely will join overwintering colonies along the California coast.

Last year, one of the monarchs released in Yakima was spotted in Santa Cruz, Calif., a coastal town 768 miles south of Yakima.

Proceeds from the event support the conservation work of the conservancy, a local nonprofit conserving shrub-steppe habitat. It owns and manages 5,000 acres of land and offers 30 miles of trails for non-motorized recreation.

For more information, visit www.cowichecanyon.org, call 509-248-1065 or email info@cowichecanyon.org.