Monarch Waystation Certification
A Monarch Waystation is a place that provides a breeding habitat for monarch butterflies to reproduce, as well as fuel their migration. At Birds on the Brink Sanctuary we are currently developing three butterfly gardens with the goal of being certified as a Monarch Waystation. Monarchs travel up to 3,000 miles round-trip between Canada or the United States to Mexico for their winter retreat. And because of the loss of procreative habitats, the Monarch’s presence has declined more than 80 percent during the past two decades.
To create a habitat for monarchs, you need to provide milkweeds for the larvae, nectar plants for the adults, and sufficient vegetation to provide shelter for the larvae, pupae and adults. Things in general to consider when designing a Monarch Waystation are: (1) Size – Although there is no minimum, at least 100 square feet is optimum. (2) Exposure – Butterflies and their support plants need at least six hours of sun a day. (3) Drainage and Soil Type – Prepare soil to support plant growth with good drainage. (4) Shelter – Following a plant spacing guideline, place plants close together to provide a sheltered environment for the monarchs. (5) Plants – Provide Milkweed and Nectar Plant species appropriate to your locale. (6) Management – Develop an ongoing plan to successfully maintain your Monarch Waystation.
Any gardener can apply for Monarch Waystation Certification. For requirements go here.