Posted on October 6, 2015
This past summer the Peace Garden at Learning In Style School became an official Monarch Waystation.
The Peace Garden contains a wide variety of nectar plants that blossom at various times throughout the summer giving the Monarchs a constant source of nectar throughout the season.
These plants include both perennials and annuals such as columbine, asters, monarda, impatiens, pansies and more. The garden also contains a water source and a fence for protection from winds. This past summer two varieties of milkweed were added to the Peace garden, and within 24 hours a Monarch was already circling looking for a place to lay eggs. It couldn’t have found a more peaceful home!
Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to areas in Mexico and California where they wait out the winter until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. The monarch migration is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America.
Monarch Waystation Habitats
Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch and butterfly populations around the world.
Monarch populations have plummeted by as much as 90% and are on the cusp of being given protection by the Endangered species act. One of the primary reasons for the decline of Monarchs is the loss of habitat, particularly milkweed, which are the only plants that Monarch butterflies will lay their eggs on. Monarchs need both nectar plants and milkweed for survival.
Planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways to make difference in Monarch survival. If you are interested in learning more about how to help Monarchs and other pollinators visit www.monarchjointventure.org, or www.monarchwatch.org if you are interested in having a monarch waystation.