JOPLIN, Mo. — Attracting next year’s butterflies begins with work you do in your yard now.

The best way to attract the winged wonders to your property is to plant native species they like to feed on.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, that includes milkweed and nectar plants.

And in the fall, those plants can provide a much-needed resting place for migrating butterflies.

Kensi Tillman, Naturalist, Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center – “This really celebrates the time of year when Monarchs are making their way back down to Mexico to spend their winter months in a warmer climate, Monarch butterflies are a great pollinators, they’re beautiful butterflies and their numbers unfortunately are declining.”

You can learn more, and even purchase some plants for your butterfly garden.

The Native Plant Sale and Monarch Festival takes place Saturday, September 16th at the Shoal Creek Conservation and Education Center in Joplin.

While the event is free and open to the public, the plants are not free.