Monarchs need YOUR help. With a tremendous geographic range and amazing migration, monarchs garner support from all over North America, but their population is in serious decline. Restoring the monarch population is going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach; research confirms that monarchs need help everywhere - from east to west, from urban to rural, and from Canada to Mexico. Join the international movement to protect the majestic monarch butterfly and it’s amazing migration for future generations to enjoy!
Why help monarchs?
Helping monarchs helps many other species, including humans! Planting monarch/pollinator habitat in your neighborhood or community not only provides monarchs with shelter and a food source, but can provide other benefits such as stormwater mitigation and improved pollination. Pollination is vital for our food system and economy. In fact, pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat!
Pollinator habitat adds beauty to the landscape with its array of colorful wildflowers and the dazzling butterflies and insects of all types that it attracts. This beauty is abundant with opportunities for outdoor learning, enjoyment, and relaxation, which are proven to be important for our mental and physical well-being! Lastly, monarchs and humans aren’t the only ones that enjoy these habitats. Other pollinators, birds, mammals, and more also utilize monarch habitat.
How can you help?
Plant habitat: Monarch habitat contains both milkweed host plants and a diversity of other blooming plants!
- Plant native! Native nectar and milkweed plants are best suited for your location and for the pollinators and monarchs in your area.
- Plant a variety of native nectar plants so you have blooming flowers all growing season long. Monarchs need nectar to migrate both in the spring and fall, and to breed in the summer!
- Avoid buying pollinator plants treated with insecticides; systemic insecticides like neonicotinoids will harm monarchs and other beneficial pollinators long after they’ve been treated.
- Minimize the application of harmful chemicals in and surrounding your monarch habitat to avoid unintended consequences to the beneficial insects or plants in the area.
What if I don’t have land or the ability to create habitat?
- If you feel like you don't have the space to plant habitat for monarchs, think again! Every stem makes a difference—you don’t need a big space, or even your own land, to have a big impact.
- For small spaces, consider a container garden on a balcony or in a shared outdoor space like a patio or front walk. If you have more space - the bigger the better!
- If you have a community garden in your neighborhood, encourage the organizers to plant pollinator-friendly plants, or start your own pollinator plot in the garden. No community garden? Get organized with your neighbors to turn a vacant lot or turf area into one!
- Simple actions make a big difference for monarchs. In addition to planting native milkweed and nectar plants, you can help monarchs by following best practices for using pesticides.
- In addition or instead of creating habitat, there are many ways to volunteer to help the monarchs, such as becoming a citizen scientist or public advocate.
Participate in community science: Much of what we know about monarchs is because of community scientist volunteers from across the continent that have been involved in studying the species for decades. By contributing observations from your yard, community, or areas you visit, researchers can learn more about monarchs and how to protect them.
Be the change you want to see in the world: If you care passionately about monarchs and pollinators and want to make your voice heard, start by contacting your elected officials; visit the MJV ‘Advocate’ page for tips. Inspire your personal and professional networks to get involved in monarch conservation by sharing the monarch's story and inviting their participation. Increase the impact you have in your community and for monarchs by engaging local community groups, businesses, or other organizations to become part of the international monarch conservation movement. Nature is everywhere! Take time to look closer - the beauty and diversity of what you find in monarch habitat may surprise you!
Share Your Monarch Habitat Story
Do you have a butterfly habitat on your property? We want to hear from you! Tell us about the plants you grow and the butterfly-friendly practices you have adopted. Share your story and photos with us. Add your habitat to the map of success stories! Here are some inspiring examples. Also, look for highlighted success stories on the MJV Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!