by Katelyn “Katie” Coyle, Children’s Garden Educator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
The Children’s Garden has always worked to provide a rich environment that sustains local wildlife. This year, we are taking things a step further and registered ourselves as an official Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch. Visitors to the Children’s Garden have always been able to find milkweed scattered throughout our garden beds, but we are taking a more public stance to raise awareness of the recent decline of the monarch population. It is now more important than ever to plant milkweed, the host plant of the monarch, as well as flowering nectar plants. Monarch Watch says:
“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 flowersthese 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.”
If you are interested in creating a certified Monarch Waystation in your own backyard, visit MonarchWatch.org. Hopefully you had a chance to buy a butterfly garden kit at our Spring Plant Sale last weekend, another great way to get started on your own Monarch Waystation!