Meadows For Monarchs

A Model and manual for pollinator conservation

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The Meadows for Monarchs program started with our Butterfly Garden, a small, but effective planted area behind the Urban Ecology Center. As the natural habitat of butterflies is being altered and drastically reduced, gardens are needed to provide butterflies the resources they need throughout their annual cycle of reproduction and migration. The Butterfly Garden provides a selection of native plants that meets the needs and preferences of these beautiful insects. This space is managed by the Pinetree Garden Club.

With a little help from georgia power

Golden Rod under some power lines off of Lakemoore Drive.

Golden Rod under some power lines off of Lakemoore Drive.

Our Meadows for Monarchs program significantly expanded in 2014. A large amount of Blue Heron property runs along and underneath the high-tension power lines on Roswell Road. Before Blue Heron was here, trees were planted or grew up on their own under the power lines and Georgia Power would routinely prune them back, often leaving the trees severely disfigured.

To meet the needs of Georgia Power and our pollinators, Blue Heron proposed a partnership where the Preserve would take on management of the land underneath the power lines to create a meadow habitat - to ensure no trees would grow in the area but also to provide useful foraging space for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, beetles, wasps, and others. The relationship started with Georgia Power on a difficult foot when our native grass plantings under the power lines were completely mowed down. Now a wonderful partnership has formed to remove the old disfigured trees that interrupt the power flow through the lines. They are being replaced with a corridor of native grasses and flowering plants like milkweed targeted to monarchs migrating through the area each year.

Our goal is to share our experience in creating healthy native pollinator habitat through the development of the Meadows for Monarchs Manual. More information coming soon.

Monarch Waystation

Blue Heron’s butterfly garden was certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch, a conservation program of The University of Kansas. Each fall hundreds of millions of monarchs migrate from the United States and Canada to overwintering areas in Mexico and California.

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This monarch migration is considered one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Blue Heron is proud to help assure the continuation of the monarch migration in North America. As a Monarch Waystation, the garden must provide milkweed, other nectar plants and shelter.

There are many readily available plants which attract butterflies. Some of Blue Heron’s favorites include blanket flower, joe pye weed, verbena, purple coneflower, bee balm, rudbekia, zinnias, and of course milkweed. 

Consider adding some of these plants to your garden and join Blue Heron Nature Preserve in supporting butterfly conservation!