With Spring just around the corner, some of Beverly/Morgan Park’s community gardeners are gearing up to add fresh milkweed to their gardens. Monarch Watch, a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas, recently selected six of our neighborhood gardens as recipients for flats of milkweed to promote more monarch and pollinator-friendly habitats in the community.
Despite its shocking decline in population, the monarch butterfly was denied an endangered species listing in 2020. According to National Geographic, the Eastern Monarch that migrates through the Midwest region each year on its way to Central Mexico has experienced an approximately 80% decrease in population over the last 40 years. In the absence of federal protection and funding, groups and organizations on a local level, like BAPA, are coordinating conservation efforts in their own community.
In May, 192 milkweed plugs of various species will be distributed to the following neighborhood gardens: Edna White Century Garden, Beverly Arts Center’s Roy Diblik Garden of Living Art, 91st Street Metra Station Garden, Kellogg Elementary, Vanderpoel Elementary, and Sutherland Elementary. The additional milkweed (which monarchs exclusively lay their eggs on) will enhance and expand the existing nectar and native plant gardening activities at each of these locations.
These six Beverly/Morgan Park community gardens will serve as showcase locations for BAPA’s 2021 Save the Monarchs initiative. Each location will go through the Monarch Waystation certification process and serve as points of interest as signage and events, such as the Garden Walk (July 11th), will bring neighbors and visitors to these gardens, with the hope that others can learn and be inspired to create the same.
Neighbors and other community organizations or businesses interested in getting involved in the Save the Monarchs initiative or having their monarch habitat certified as a waystation, can contact email@example.com or join the BAPA Save the Monarchs Facebook group to stay updated on this initiative.