Save the Monarchs
Our vision was to increase local native plant species, including milkweed for migrating monarch butterflies and other pollinators within the Niagara region. Our goal was to increase local biodiversity in parks, backyards and playgrounds to help restore native populations for animal which rely on them.
We used our grant money to buy a plant grow stand with lights so that we could start growing native species. The bulk majority of the plants grown were milkweed, using our DIY self-watering, water bottle planters that students from the EcoClub had made. Starting from seeds, we grew them into plants that could be translocated/transplanted. To disperse them into the region for planting, we were aiming to collaborate with local parks and conservation groups willing to take them. We also were hoping to give them out to students in the halls so that they could take them home and transplant them in their backyards throughout the Niagara region.
Reflection & Celebration
Seeing as the Niagara region continues to face increasing development and land degradation, we though that we could assist the drastically reduced populations of monarch butterflies by providing them with a local and native food source which they rely on in this area for their incredible migration and lifecycle. In recent years urban sprawl and development mixed with herbicides and ditch-clearing has greatly decreased the amount of milkweed in the region. Monarch have a symbiotic relationship with the milkweed and also face issues with their overwinter areas in Mexico. All this has led to the decrease in monarch populations which are a vital part of the ecosystems and ecosystem functioning in both places.
This demonstrates the interconnectedness that exists in nature and how linkages have evolved a reliance between animals and plants that must exist in a sustained fashion to function properly and to provide us with the services we can all enjoy.
We believe that these seemingly little steps will ultimately help to support the population so that it can rebound and continue to provide its services to the environment for many more generations.