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27 Sep

It warmed my heart this week to read two Facebook posts by two different individuals from Missouri.  Both were thanking folks in the northern states who were making attempts and positive strides to help the monarch/milkweed dilemma by raising these magnificent butterflies from eggs found on milkweed plants.  They both indicated they are seeing more monarchs on the migration route through their state than they have seen in many years!  Way to go, folks!!! 

As an example, my husband and I released seventeen of them in August and were beyond thrilled at that number.  There were others that indicated raising and releasing as many as more than 700 of them!  Many commented this was their first year doing this while others have raised them for several years.  As I mentioned in one of the comments on my Gramma Golden Facebook page “If we each do our small part, it becomes huge collectively”.

But what do I mean by ‘if we each do our small part’?  Yes, we need to plant flowers for nectar and allow some milkweed to grow within our gardens for their larvae to feed on, but it’s more than that.  We need to get involved in protecting and restoring native plants within our communities and along roadways and parks in rural areas as well as in big cities.  We need to be vocal and support local and regional conservation efforts.  We need to work to provide natural areas in both public and private sectors and in both residential and business landscape projects.  We should consider joining, volunteering or donating resources to a local conservation district or forest preserve.  We might investigate and consider becoming a citizen scientist for a local forest preserve district collecting and reporting valuable data that contributes to butterfly conservation.  (see www.bfly.org as an example from the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network).  We can also search for and support a well managed and administered national organization.  One  whose mission is to preserve habitat and whose recommendations might be considered when making governmental decisions related to conservation.  And finally, we must educate others, both adults and children alike, as to the plight of monarchs so they, too, can get involved. 

Yes, doing our small part becomes huge collectively.  I hope by reading this you become inspired and find a way to become part of the solution to help these struggling butterflies. 

 


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