Special thanks to Butterfly Garden Team Aimee Jimenez, Judy Padera, Carolyn Katt, Connie Allekian, and Jon Silkaitis for renovating our Monarch Way station.
Have you ever seen our Monarch Way station sign and wondered what it was all about? A way station provides a Monarch butterfly with the resources needed to reproduce for successive generations. It is our goal that many generations will be able to witness the monarch butterflies migrating from Canada to Mexico each year, perhaps resting at our Lord of Life way station.
All the grasses and flowers of Illinois, the Prairie State, are a habitat and food for migrating butterflies. In 1975 Illinois chose the Monarch as our state insect. However, during the years 1999-2012 the Midwest had a 64% decrease of milkweed due to the use of insecticides and pesticides. However, milkweed plant is the only source of food for monarch caterpillars so the decrease of milkweed meant no food for Monarch butterflies. As a result, the monarch population has decreased by 88%, and the Monarch was put on the endangered species list in December 2020.
However, we can help preserve monarch butterflies by providing a way station for them. In order to be licensed as a monarch way station, Lord of Life is required to have 10 milkweed plants of at least two different varieties in the way station as well as brightly colored annuals and perennials. We have these plants in our garden so come visit our garden, which may not resemble a perfectly manicured garden, but does serve the needs of the regal monarch butterfly. If anyone would like to help preserve these beautiful creatures, keep these please contact Aimee Jimenez at 708.408.9690 as ask how you can help.