Incredibly Fun and Effective Ways to Help Monarchs on their Migration!

From the eyes of a butterfly, every flower along their migration path through the Upper Midwest is a restaurant; every milkweed, a nursery for their young. Without these, it would be like crossing thousands of miles of empty desert.

That is the danger facing monarchs this summer as their favorite “diners and nurseries” disappear in the progression of modern agriculture and suburban development. You can smooth the way for our beloved butterflies and help them survive in cool, simple and fun ways!

    1. Plant milkweed and monarch-friendly native wildflowers in corners of your backyard, containers on your balcony, or at a community garden. Check with your local Cooperative Extension for information on which species to plant and where and other horticultural tips, and send away for some free milkweed seeds for your school or non-profit or buy them online inexpensively!
    2. Make ‘seed bombs’ on a rainy day to give to friends and family in your area, or throw them into weedy patches to seed areas in your yard where you’d like to add more butterfly activity. Watch this video for a fun, kid-friendly project that will help make the world better, too. (Milkweed needs to stratify outside during winter, so make seed balls with their seeds this summer and throw them this fall where you’ll want them to grow next spring!)

  1. Request that local highway and park authorities refrain from mowing medians with milkweed and wildflowers during the height of monarch breeding season, and devote more public lands to wildflowers and natural habitats. Ecological and economical!
  2. Petition the EPA to come up with a Monarch rescue plan, and limit pesticide and herbicide through a plan to support monarch habitat.
  3. Teach a child how to identify male and female monarchs, and help them learn more about how our world is impacting them. The more kids know about nature, the more invested and interested they’ll be in protecting it as they grow up!
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