Sunday (August 5), our returning tradition and evening farewell will fill the sky with the color and movement from one of nature’s most beautiful creatures, the Western Pennsylvania Monarch. Over 200 butterflies will take flight in a mass release - a fitting send-off celebration for the 2017 Regatta weekend. Last year's butterfly celebrant was Faith McElravy, 2017 North Washington Rodeo Queen (pictured below). Guests will also receive individual butterflies, gently housed in special envelopes and distributed in honor of a special someone or in memory of a loved one.
Why do we do the Native Butterfly Release?
"Our state parks in Pennsylvania conserve nearly 300,000 acres of lands for the public to enjoy in many ways, but humans are not the only ones to benefit. Moraine’s 16,725 acres provides habitat for many wild animal species. Monarch butterflies, whose population across North America has alarmingly decreased, are dependent upon the milkweed plant. There are four species of milkweed native to PA, and we have introduced each of them in areas of the Moraine, and encourage their natural reproduction. Here at the park, we have five areas specifically managed to promote native wildflowers, such as milkweed. Volunteers and partner groups working with park staff have prepared ground, sown seed, and managed these areas to encourage milkweed and other native plants to provide not only educational messages and enjoyment, but to serve as habitat for resident populations, and provide way stations for migrating monarchs." - Natalie Simon, DCNR
Special guest: Miss Faith McElravy, 2017 North Washington Rodeo Queen (pictured below). Miss McElravy is from North Washington, PA where she resides on her grandparents’ farm with her family. She attends Moniteau High School where she will be a Senior in the Fall. After high school, she plans to become a veterinarian. Faith has been riding horses for 6 years and currently rides a Tennessee Walker named Snowman, whom she’s owned for 3 years. In addition to her equine activities, Faith has been active with the National Honor Society, Relay for Life, and also shows Nigerian Dwarf goats with the Caprine Connection 4-H Club in Butler County. Faith is looking forward to spending the summer representing the North Washington Rodeo and Fire Department at local parades, fairs, events, and rodeos and hopes to encourage others to love animals and the rodeo as much as she does.