Recreation Outdoors Activities

Three Easy Ways To Support Your Local Monarchs

...the butterflies, of course

Kelly Carlson, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

If you’re looking for new, simple ways to get out onto the environmental scene, know that real impact starts with you. One of the most impactful insects, the monarch butterfly – a culturally and ecologically significant creature – is racing its way towards extinction. But, not if we can help it. After all, you don’t have to be a professional scientist, or even a professional at all, to do something good. Embrace your inner environmentalist, paint a thumb or two green, and grab a friend for easy engagement with your local wildlife. 

 

Nelson the Doodle at the Doll & Pet Parade. Photo contributed by his
Community garden in Menomonie.

1

Clear out the junk. Get ready to change up your garden’s lifestyle! Pesticides not only make milkweed, the only source of food for budding monarch butterflies, toxic to monarchs, but they disassemble the purposeful structure of gardens at home or on an agricultural scale. Get rid of that junky stuff and revive the life surrounding you – literally. 

 

Stained glass art contributed by D'Souza.
Monarch butterfly chart from Beaver Creek Reserve's Butterfly Festival.

2

Give in to your horticultural dreams. Milkweed is planted in fragmented areas around the country - most often found mixed in with weeds and in meridians. Become a gardener with these easy steps: get some milkweed and plant it in sunny parts of your yard. That’s it! Watch as beautiful flocks of butterflies happily come to you. 

 

Photo of Jen Schmidt, turtle-savior, outside of Ayres Associates' Eau Claire office.
Inside Beaver Creek Reserve's Butterfly House.

3

Socialize. Community gardens are one of the best ways to get interactive with your community and your environment. Grab a friend, socialize about your efforts, and educate yourself on the best environmental practices. Making a difference only requires a bit of effort. And, make some beautiful, blooming friends along the way.