Help GLC make Way Stations for Monarchs
It doesn’t take much to help our endangered monarch population – just a few stems of milkweed and some native plants planted in a corner of your yard. Monarch butterflies, whose population has declined nearly 90 percent over the last two decades, is suffering from loss of habitat – notably the milkweed plants that sustain them in the caterpillar stage. Thanks to an interest from our members, the GLC started the Monarch Project two years ago and has sold hundreds of milkweed plants that have been added to garden spots and fields throughout the area.
And while milkweed is essential to the larval and caterpillar stage, adult butterflies and other pollinators also need nectar from native plants to survive.
In addition to offering young milkweed plants this year, the Conservancy will offer several popular native plant species. These easy to grow perennials are a bright spot in gardens and vital to our pollinator populations. Please consider adding a few of these varieties to your garden, or donating a few to your local school or church.
Three varieties of milkweed will be available:
* Common milkweed, with purplish white flowers, are the easiest and fastest to grow.
* Swamp or marsh milkweed have rose or pink flowers and prefer moist soils.
* Butterfly weed has clusters of orange flowers and likes dry and sunny locations.
Also available – Native Pollinator species – the bright colors of these flowers attract pollinators!
*Purple coneflower has a large center cone, surrounded by purple petals and requires full sun
*Black-eyed Susan has showy yellow flowers and prefers moist soils and full sun
*New England aster has purple petals and a yellow center and prefers full or partial sun, and moist to average conditions
*Liatris, also known as blazing star, has grassy foliage and fuzzy purple bottle-brush flowers and prefers full sun and moist soils
All these plants are easy to grow and can be lovely additions to your gardens. This is a great project to do with children or grandchildren. And, seeds from these plants can be collected and sown in the fall to provide butterfly habitat for years to come. A big thank you goes to Intrinsic Perennial Gardens in Hebron, a Conservancy supporter, for helping us acquire good quality plants for our sale.
If you don’t have a place for milkweed and native pollinators, you can still make a donation and we will plant some for you at some of our conservancy properties. Proceeds from the sale of these plants will go to restoration of the 77-acre Hansen Preserve. For more information, please check our website or phone Kelley Happ at 847-404-3957 or call the Conservancy at 262-275-5700.