OnFocus – After two years and more than 3600 monarch butterflies raised and released, volunteer group Marshfield Monarchs will not be returning to Wildwood Zoo next season. (The zoo’s ornate box turtles, Millie and Vanillie, are reclaiming their exhibit.)
“We regret to inform everyone that we will no longer be a part of the zoo. The exhibit is needed back by the zoo and we saw it best not to stand in the way,” said founder Melissa Gwiazda in a Facebook post. “And with our upcoming projects and developments with building the monarch habitats we will be pretty busy anyway. We are VERY grateful for our time there and will miss the friendly faces of both our human and animal friends. Please don’t be sad though!! When one door closes, another one opens and you’d be surprised where the wind takes those of us with wings.”
Though sad to have to leave, Gwiazda is excited for the future of Marshfield Monarchs. The group is currently working with Marshfield Utilities and Marshfield Wastewater Treatment to develop a new habitat for monarchs.
“Building acres and acres of new habitats was and always has been a huge dream of ours. Thanks to Marshfield Utilities and Wastewater we have been given this amazing chance to do so!” said Gwiazda. “We will be on the map for sure now as far as monarch conservation goes!! Our main objective has always just been wanting protected land for milkweed and flowers.”
Gwiazda and family are looking forward to expanding their monarch rehabilitation efforts through this partnership, and thankful to the zoo for their time there.
“We are honestly grateful to the zoo. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to release as many as we did the last two years,” she said. “Plus we were able to teach there and bring a lot of awareness to people. The friendships that were made are by far the best thing we are walking away with.”
She also hinted that everyone will be possibly seeing a new monarch exhibit at a new location in the future.
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