Monarch Campaign Ideas / Plight of the Monarch

runmede(7a Virginia)December 20, 2013

I spent hundreds of hours working with the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy on their Monarch Campaign. We created some great handouts and information. Please feel free to download this information and use it to start a campaign in your area. The link is posted below.

Our campaign has 5 main elements:
1) Sharing the story of the Monarch through community programs, school events, partnerships with other groups and organizations
2) Restoring habitat and planting Monarch Waystations at schools, homes, churches and businesses that will flourish for Monarchs and other wildlife
3) Raising and releasing Monarchs, especially in the late summer and fall
4) Connecting with communities in Mexico where our Monarchs overwinter and supporting restoration efforts there
5) Establishing a recurring program, because this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Here is a link that might be useful: Monarch Campaign, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy

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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Runmede,
Thanks for sharing this information, and thanks for all the hours you've contributed to getting the word out and working to develop habitat to support the Monarchs. If we each could educate just a few close friends or colleagues and encourage them to mention these issues among their aquaintences, then a general consciousness of the problem would grow. Already, we've seen the growth of native plant businesses and the increased use of native plants in the traditional gardens. We just need to expand on the progress that has been made and keep building up momentum. Projects like yours will help immensely.

Many of us don't have as many hours to devote as you do, but we can still help. I mentioned the Monarch plight during devotions at the start of our weekly business meeting. I also gave a brief explanation of how/why I garden the way I do at my office party, for a few folk who were hanging around by me. I get a chance to talk to patients and families on a daily basis, and once in awhile we get on to the subject of gardening or scary environmental changes--especially with cancer patients. Of course, I deal with whatever the patient needs, but if an obvious opening occurs in a conversation, I mention it as casual conversation.

I have learned that broaching these issues needs to be done with extreme caution and sensitivity. The last thing we need to do is come across as superior and judgmental. I find the easiest way to be gentle is to just describe how I started gardening and reading on line and discovered how fun it is to observe the increase in the diversity of bugs and birds I saw in my garden in a short time. And mention how relatively carefree native plants are, since they evolved to exist in each region without the support of humans and irrigation or fertilizers. Depending on the audience, then you can observe how much less expensive it is to maintain a native garden patch than it is a manicured lawn--no watering, mowing, or weed killers. Plus, you get butterflies and hummingbirds!

I should stop wandering. This is just how I'm treating myself Christmas morning. I'm procrastinating getting work done, which is due by the 31st. But, this feels at least as important, from a global sense. And I've already accomplished much of what work needs. Hope I've provided a bit of inspiration for some of you. I'm off to check in with the rest of my favorite forums.

Martha

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 10:28AM
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ponyexpress_1

I have been spreading the word on Facebook. Letting my friends know to plant milkweed. I am going to go to my local park and ask that they avoid mowing the milkweed stands near summers end like they have in years past. I have seen cats on them only to discover them mowed down a few days later by the parks dept : ( They always mow everything down near the creek and that includes the milkweed.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 2:54AM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

I've been working with a gas pipeline company to delay mowing of a
field since 2009. They used to mow in mid August. Now they delay the
mowing until mid October. That field is full of common milkweed,
Cynanchum vine (another Asclepias) and many nectar sources. That
field is also located near a roadway (a 4 lane roadway). I've also
been collecting milkweed seeds from that field and giving them to
people to plant. Also, cutting milkweed from that field to rear
Monarchs. For the past 3 years, I've been helping count butterfly
species in that field.
I certified that same field as a Monarch Watch Waystation this year so that people would know why it isn't being mowed.
Link for Monarch Watch Registry of the "Fox Mill Meadow" click to open
The certificate will be posted at the Reston Assoc. office, the very
nice metal sign (which was worth every penny that I paid) will be
posted on a post near the sidewalk near the roadway. Many people
walk, bike, jog down that sidewalk and can read what's going on in
that field.

Individuals can make a difference if they take the time to contact
their local, state, and federal agencies to take some time to educate
them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gas Pipeline Field photographs

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 11:32AM
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