Local Family Rescues Monarch Butterflies

Gwiazda Family to Release 400 Butterflies

Melissa and James Gwiazda, along with their two young daughters, are well on our way to releasing 400 monarch butterflies by the end of the summer.

Urban development, lack of milkweed, and pesticides are all factors in the monarch butterfly’s decline. With the monarch population dwindling to dangerous levels, they are doing their part to save them and are hoping to educate other people to be able to do the same.

“It’s a fun thing to do and definitely a learning experience for everyone involved,” said Melissa. “We started saving them 3 years ago. Our first year I believe we only released 20. Last year we released 72.  We were hoping for a goal of 100 this year but have gone far beyond that!”

The family finds caterpillars, or caterpillar eggs, and brings them home to raise them in old fish tanks. They currently have five tanks in operation.

“We feed them and clean the tanks daily,” said Melissa. “It’s definitely work, but the end results are so worth it!”

The family releases the butterflies in their yard and at local parks and nature preserves. Near the end of summer, butterflies will migrate to Mexio to hibernate before returning to the Midwest.

Watch the video for more information. Follow them on Facebook here.