EAST GARFIELD PARK — A free event Friday will give families a chance to canoe through Garfield Park's expansive lagoon.
The Chicago Park District is partnering with Openlands, an urban conservation group, to host the event, which is set for 3-7 p.m. Friday.
No experience is necessary, and the event is open to all ages.
During the event, preservationists will talk about the importance of natural areas to the migratory monarch butterfly. Participants will also have a chance to help clean up the park and remove invasive plants.
The park's fishing lagoon dates to the late 1800s.
At the same time, Faith in Place will host a Monarch Festival with indoor and outdoor activities and exhibits.
Canoers can meet at Garfield Park's gold dome field house, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
It's the perfect year for the monarch-themed festivities, as the city has enjoyed a recent surge in sightings of the butterfly.
This year, the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network spotted butterflies at almost twice as many places as last year, when the network reported monarchs at just 73 locations, with a high of 84 at Hoosier Prairie. In 2015, it spotted butterflies at 92 separate locations, with a high count of 124 at Illinois Beach State Park.