Environmental Ed field trip to Baker Wetlands


Photo by Maddy Manning

Nick Lorino, writer

The Environmental Education students took a field trip on Sept. 13 out to the Baker Wetlands in Lawrence to capture and tag monarch butterflies in order to teach local people how to preserve the environment.

“It took us a few hours because when we first got there we had to walk to the different trees that the butterflies usually stay,” senior Madison Stieg said. “The butterflies look like dead leaves.”

After catching butterflies for a few hours, they put them into wax envelopes with their wings pressed together so their wings would not get damaged. The students brought 33 butterflies back to Northwest to tag and set free. The students recorded data about the butterflies before releasing, such as their weight, sex and wing condition.

“We will tag them and record all the data and then we just let them go because they are migrating right now to Mexico,” Environmental Education teacher Michael Pisani said.

On the tag put on the monarch’s lower wing, there is a phone number and code so if the butterfly is caught again, the catcher can call to find out all of the information about it. Pisani remarked that someone caught a monarch in Mexico that had been tagged by a previous student.

“We traveled in groups to different parts of the wetlands,” Stieg said. “We could go anywhere we wanted to catch the butterflies, but we mostly needed to go to areas where there were flowers and more vegetation for them. Pisani let us roam for a good hour and a half to 2 hours just catching butterflies. We tagged about 33 butterflies in total.”