200 monarch butterflies began their trek from Clarence to Mexico Saturday morning. David O'Donnell, of Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm, released them from the Clarence Hollow Farmer's Market.
“I’m the butterfly farmer, probably the only one in New York State, lot easier than cows and horses," O'Donnell said.
The event is held annually to teach the community the importance of environmental conservation and stewardship. According to O'Donnell, the monarch butterfly population is depleting due to industry plowing down their habitat.
O'Donnell recalled an instance in Clarence 20 years prior.
“I found a beautiful milkweed plant full of butterflies and caterpillars and I went back the next day and it was mowed to the ground," O'Donnell said.
Monarch butterflies are frequently found around milkweed plants, Eastern Monarch Butterfly Farm sell milkweed for the community to take home and plant in their own yards.