Thinking back on childhood, you surely remember watching Monarch butterflies flitting here and there on a summer day, tasting nectar on a flower or rising into the sky above. You might have watched in wonder or grabbed your net to capture one! There were so many back then.
Sadly, this week we learned they have now officially become an endangered species.
While numbers have dropped, we can still help. We can still make a difference going forward. This is yet another reason why planting and supporting the growth of native species of plants is so important. Lots of creatures we love, including Monarchs, require native species such as milkweed to be happy, healthy & multiply.
It isn’t too late to help them. Here’s what we can do:
• Plant milkweed. Research what variety will do best on your property. The monarch caterpillar can only eat milkweed leaves, making this particular native species critical to their survival.
• Plant a variety of native flowers for monarchs to feed on. While they can forage on any nectar flower, they can only lay eggs on milkweed.
• Reduce or eliminate chemicals in your yard. Have your soil tested to see what you really need and look for natural ways to address problems. Support an environment the welcomes bugs that deter the pests you don’t want.
• Encourage your neighbors, friends and your family to practice good conservation in their yards too.
Monarch butterflies are just one example of species we want to see thrive. There are so many more and many more reasons why planting native plants in our yards and gardens are so important. Ultimately, a diversified garden aids in soaking up water and keeping it clean, too — something that matters to us at TWF.
Here’s some more information: