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The Endangered Species Print Project blog. Sharing artists interviews, conservation news, endangered species profiles and art and activism projects.

Backyard Conservation: Plant a Monarch Garden

Molly Schafer

photo by author

photo by author

After nearly a decade in Chicago we recently relocated back to the mid-atlantic region and have been enjoying a fantastic, flowery, extended Springtime the likes of which Chicago does not know. It is wonderful! 

If you have spring fever like me use your fever for good and help the Monarch butterfly. There has been an 80 percent decline in the monarch population over the last 2 decades. Due to widespread use of herbicide and endless development of formerly wild areas over 100 million acres of monarch habitat have disappeared.

You can help by planting seeds and it's super easy and fun to do!

I am starting my little monarch garden with goldenrod, aster, butterfly weed and some milkweed seeds I purchased at University of Delaware Ag Day. The 2016 Ag Day theme was sustainability which was awesome and I got to pet some bugs and puppies too.  You will need to be sure to use milkweed seeds that are native to the region where you live. 

official monarch waystation sign ,

official monarch waystation sign ,

If you create a monarch waystation be sure to register it with Monarch Watch and get this cool sign to put up. If you don't have a yard consider planting a monarch waystation on land in your community, school, work, etc.  Sprinkle some seeds in an unused patch of land. 

Here are some links to get you started...


Create habitat for monarchs

Milkweed seed finder by state

Monarch Watch (loads of info and seed kits)

Citizen Science opportunities

2016 Lawsuit Launched for Endangered Species Act Protection of Monarch Butterflies