Skip to main content

Pollinator Week Activities in the McHenry County Region 

Published on
19 April 2024

Celebrating Monarch Butterflies in McHenry County

Tuesday, June 18, 6:15-8:15 p.m.
McHenry County College Luecht Auditorium

How Mayors’ Monarch Pledges are Protecting our Pollinators

  • 6:15-7:00 p.m. Tabling by various local environmental, conservation and gardening groups and local units of government that have taken the 2024 Mayors’ Monarch Pledge 
  • 7:00 p.m. Featured Talk Pollinators in the Neighborhood – Creating habitats for “the little things that run the world” in our local communities is making our county a more beautiful and healthy place to live. This presentation will explore how all of us can help the Monarchs and other pollinators survive and thrive. Presented by Jack and Judy Speer, Small Waters Education
  • 7:30-8:15 p.m. Panel discussion by representatives of towns, townships & park districts that have taken the 2024 Mayors’ Monarch Pledge

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: Plant Your Own Pollinator Garden!

Wednesday, June 19, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Johnsburg Library, 3000 N. Johnsburg Rd, Johnsburg
Please register here.

Adult program presented by Sarah Michehl, Community Ecologist, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County

Celebrate National Pollinator Week and learn how to attract monarch butterflies and other butterflies, birds, and bees to your yard. Join Sarah Michehl with The Land Conservancy of McHenry County for info on gardening with native plants that will provide beauty and everything a pollinator could need. 

Neighbors Helping Pollinators 

Wednesday, June 19, 1-2:30 pm
Johnsburg Schools campus, 2220 W. Church St, Johnsburg

Tidying at the Johnsburg School pollinator garden. Join the volunteers with Small Waters Education who keep this garden healthy and get hands-on experience with native plants.

Native and Natural Landscaping

Wednesday, June 19, 7-8:30 pm
PrairieView Education Center, 2112 Behan Rd, Crystal Lake

Learn how to use native plants around your home to beautify your property, provide habitat for butterflies, birds and bees, and gain benefits such as improved storm water drainage and healthy soil. This presentation by members of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee will show examples from their “Native Garden in Your Yard” program, which provides inspiration, encouragement, and help to homeowners who wish to transform their traditional lawn and garden spaces into havens for native wildflowers and other plants. We will also touch on using native plants on a larger scale, such as restoration projects on McHenry County Conservation District sites.

Please register here. 

Pollinators Aplenty

Thursday, June 20, 7-8:00 p.m. Virtual program

Learn about local research on pollinators of the region during this virtual program. Two researchers will share their knowledge and interest of their research studies conducted locally, some right here in McHenry County! This will be held over Zoom. A link will be sent to registrants the day of the program.

Melissa Duda is a graduate student of the Plant Biology and Conservation program at Northwestern University/Chicago Botanic Garden and is studying the hybridization between Gentiana puberulenta and Gentiana andrewsii to identify the mechanisms responsible for limiting hybridization between the two species. One of these “mechanisms” is pollinators. She conducted pollinator observations to analyze the role of pollinators in hybridization. She wanted to see what pollinators (mostly bumble bees) visit both gentian species, as well as their hybrid, Gentiana x billingtonii. Additional pollinators she observed included leafcutter bees, sweat bees, and masked bees.

Biologist Alma C. Schrage will discuss current research by the United States Geological Survey focused on the endangered rusty-patch bumblebee that is ongoing in McHenry County and the greater Midwest. Alma is part of a research team that has focused on developing effective rapid survey methods for finding rusty-patch bumblebees in previously unrecorded locations, detecting their DNA on flowers, and testing the rollout of larger scale rapid monitoring of bumblebee communities in partnership with McHenry County Conservation District and other partners in the Chicago region.

Please register here. 

Restoration Day & Pollinator Patrol

Friday, June 21, 1-4:00 p.m.
Boone Creek Conservation Area
916 N Cold Springs Rd, Bull Valley

You are invited to volunteer and join us for a Restoration Day at Boone Creek Conservation Area. Learn how actions, powered by the community as part of MCCDs stewardship/restoration volunteer program, are impacting pollinators in positive ways. We will end our volunteer time with food, fellowship, and a Pollinator Patrol to observe the activity taking place on site. All ages and stages of experience are welcome. Sign up here. 

Spanning approximately 600+ acres in McHenry County, Boone Creek Conservation Area is home to pollinators a plenty! Our natural areas benefit greatly from a team of dedicated volunteers who are out on a regular basis, exploring what it means to care for the land and its inhabitants. Whether it’s removing invasive plants, collecting and spreading native plant seeds, monitoring plants and wildlife, or planting trees, ALL these volunteer actions truly add up and make a difference! They significantly improve habitats and the quality of life for butterflies, bees and other pollinator friends. The real satisfaction and joy comes from quality time spent outdoors, in community with a shared purpose, making discoveries and connections that leave lasting impressions.

Boloria Meadows Nature Walk 

Saturday, June 22, 10-11:30 a.m.
Street parking at 7210 Millburne Court, Bull Valley

For families – nature walk presented by Dennis Dreher and Pete Jackson, volunteers with The Land Conservancy of McHenry County

Register here for the Boloria Meadows Nature Walk

Join us for a butterfly and pollinator walk at the beautiful Boloria Meadows Nature Preserve in Bull Valley. The preserve contains over 45 acres of high-quality restored wetlands, prairies, and oak woodlands. With over 150 species of wildflowers, Boloria is a haven for over 30 species of native butterflies as well as many species of bees and other pollinators. One unusual butterfly species that should be abundant in June is the Baltimore Checkerspot that uses the Turtlehead flower as its host plant.

This is a family friendly tour that will cover roughly a mile of gently rolling terrain. The preserve entrance is in the McAndrews Glen subdivision in Bull Valley. The subdivision is north of Bull Valley Road, west of Draper Road and east of Ridge Road. Street parking is available adjacent to 7219 and 7220 Millburne Court.

Pollinator Week Celebration

Sunday, June 23, 1 – 4:00 p.m.
Lost Valley Visitor Center, 6705 State Rte 31, Ringwood

Did you know that along with bees and butterflies, beetles, moths, and flies are also pollinators to this region? Explore their life cycle, how they pollinate, and what you can do to support them now and into the future. Let’s celebrate the last day of Pollinator Week with this family-friendly event with crafts, a guided nature hike, and games! Indoor and outdoor options available. Dress for the weather.

Ongoing Throughout Pollinator Week

Marengo-Union Mayors’ Monarch Pledge will have a self-guided tour of the monarch gardens in Marengo and Union. It will be posted on their Facebook page on June 16.

In Genoa City, Wisconsin, there will be a self-guided tour to view yards and gardens that serve as pocket refuges and as a P.E.A.R.L. (Pocket Environments Animals Really Like) in the string of habitats that pollinators need. At the Hackmatack NWR Turner Tract at the north side of town, there will be a self-guided tour of the various habitats found at this 87-acre big PEARL in the growing necklace of naturalized plots (small and large) in our region that pollinators need to thrive. Tour link to be added on June 16.

Latest Stories