Meadows For Monarchs

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Butterfly conservation in our backyard

Tucked away behind the office of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a simple little garden that is making a big contribution to butterfly conservation. 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. Blue Heron’s Butterfly Garden provides a selection of native plants that meets the needs and preferences of these beautiful insects.

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. 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. For more information about this conservation effort visit www.monarchwatch.org.

There are many readily available plants which attract butterflies. Some of Blue Heron’s favorites include blanket flower, joe pye weed, verbena, purple coneflowers, 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.

 

How it Started

A significant 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. We started our relationship 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 river of native nectar plants and milkweed targeted to monarchs flowing all along Roswell Road. Georgia Power is supplying seeds, native plants and winter time mowing to facilitate this project.

 

Educational Outreach

Our project is already garnering support and interest from the community! We are providing educational programming to the following organizations as well as jump starting Monarch gardens at their sites:

  • Canterbury Court
  • The Church of the Atonement
  • The Galloway School
  • The Canterbury School
  • Skyland Trail

 

How Can I Help?

  • Donate financially to support education programs
  • Target your donation for the purchase of Milkweed plants
  • Volunteer for a seed planting workday in the fall
  • Volunteer to plant live milkweed plants in the spring
  • Purchase pollinator plant seeds from our store and start your own pollinator garden at home

Contact us if you are interested in starting a Monarch garden at your site, scheduling a workshop, educational programming or speaking event on Monarchs, or are interested in pursuing citizen science research for more information.

For specific Monarch information visit: www.monarchwatch.org Blue Heron Nature Preserve is an official Waystation for Monarchs registered with this organization.

If you are interested in helping plant and maintain the BH Butterfly Garden or donating native plants to the garden, contact BHNP today.