Thursday, March 15, 2018

Library Program on Monarchs

One of the most widely recognized butterflies in the United States is also the one in the most danger of becoming extinct. Habitat loss, illegal logging, row crop agriculture and over use of pesticides are just a few factors that have led to the staggering population decrease. What can we do to reverse the damage?

Join Darke County Parks Naturalist Mandy Martin Wednesday March 28th at 6:00 at the Greenville Public Libary to find out! This is a free, family-friendly event but seating is limited so first come first served. Light refreshments provided. Mandy says “We’ll explore the natural history of this magnificent creature and discover all the efforts nationwide to spearhead movements to save this iconic species.” Mandy will also share what Darke County Parks has done to join the effort to save the monarch and how you can get involved.”

After the presentation we will be making seed bombs! “These little balls of seed, clay, and compost are pre-planted with butterfly approved wildflower seeds. This spring just toss them on the ground, press them lightly into the ground, and watch them grow.”

Did you know that since 2006 the Library has also been certified as an official Monarch Waystation by “Monarch Watch” of the University of Kansas? This program was organized in 2005 by Chip Taylor, whose goal it is to have thousands of these “resource patches” created in back yards, school and church grounds, parks, nature centers, golf courses, and retirement homes.

According to, a Waystation is an intermediate station between principle stations on a line of travel. The principle stations for monarchs are the sites in Mexico they use for overwintering and the northern sites they use for reproduction in the breeding season. Without nectar flowers, fall migratory butterflies would be unable to make the journey to Mexico.

What distinguishes a Monarch Waystation from an ordinary butterfly garden is the inclusion of and emphasis on milkweed. The plant is essential because milkweeds are the only plants that monarch caterpillars recognize as food. MonarchWatch recommends that Waystations include at least 10 milkweed plants.

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