Butterflies begin trek from North Brunswick to Mexico

Residents participated in a release of monarch butterflies at Elmwood Cemetery in North Brunswick on Aug. 24.

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Elmwood Cemetery held its fifth annual monarch butterfly release on Aug. 24. The migratory insects will take a 3,000-mile odyssey to Mexico, which takes many generations to complete one cycle, according to Eleanor Molloy, president of the Elmwood Cemetery Association.


“Butterflies are a symbol of endurance, of change, of new hope, of transformation,” she said.


Elmwood is a Victorian Garden Cemetery founded in 1868. The founders designed a cemetery where a beautiful landscaped park would create a respite from expanding cities, according to Molloy. Because of their vision, Elmwood is a preserve of 50 acres of native trees and shrubs, a home to many birds and wildlife.


The cemetery’s garden has been certified as a Monarch Waystation and a North American butterfly garden and was created to provide milkweeds and nectar sources for butterflies native to New Jersey, particularly the monarch butterfly, Molloy said.


The butterfly release was symbolic, offered as a memorial for those who have passed.

“We remember those we’ve loved and lost and think about … how we endure,” she said.

For more information, visit www.theelmwoodcemetery.com.