Mighty Monarch Program
The Butterfly House is expecting visitors! This year our community gardens will host one of the most beautiful and courageous insects in North America: the Mighty Monarch. This raise-and-release intiative is an annual summer program we started to tell the Monarch's story, to pollinate our gardens, and to give this "species of special concern" a better chance of being there for our grandchildren.
Butterflies are incredible pollinators. Together with other beneficial insects, they help us to grow the organic vegetables in our gardens we use to feed our community. But Monarchs are so much more. These magnificent orange and black travellers are preparing for the voyage of their lifetime. After hatching in our gardens, they will fly over 4000 kilometres, across the United States, to Mexico.
The monarchs have been making this journey year after year, but now they're in real trouble. Their hibernation habitat has been reduced by almost 97% over the last ten years, and the milkweed they eat and use to lay their eggs is being wiped out across North America. If this generation isn't able to lay enough eggs, the Monarch Butterfly is in danger of going extinct.
One female can lay over 400 eggs and at Greener Village we hope to see all 400 hatch. We have 565 milkweed plants of 3 different varieties, and we plan on naming and tagging as many as 500 with special butterfly stickers, which will help researchers see how many survive the journey.
What can you do to help the Mighty Monarchs:
- Learn as much as you can about their amazing journey, online or at our centre
- Tell others about the Monarchs are the challenges they're facing
- Grow Milkweed!
This presentation was produced by a good friend of Greener Village: Kathy White of Keswick, NB. Kathy is incredibly passionate and is dedicating her summer to collecting, raising, tagging and releasing the 4th generation of the Monarch Butterflies. People like Kathy are helping the Mighty Monarch to overcome the new and mounting challenges of this incredible migration.