By Barb Elliot
In my March 23rd post, Monarchs: A Call to Action (see below) Edie and I offered milkweed plants for sale. As I said then, the Monarch butterfly population is in sharp decline due to loss of habitat . We were inspired to join Monarch Watch’s (www.monarchwatch.org) national call to action. To save this species we must plant more milkweeds, the Monarch caterpillars’ only food.
The response to our offer was fantastic! We received one hundred thirty-five orders for a total of 2,400 plants. There is a waiting list of people who missed the April 1st order deadline and want to buy any leftover plants.
Orders came from Monarch enthusiasts across the southeastern Pennsylvania area –
Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties -and even from south New Jersey and central Pennsylvania. We were impressed by the networking and sharing about the milkweeds that took place via word of mouth and social media, including Facebook and list-servs. Inquiries about buying milkweed came from as far away as Minnesota and Virginia.
When the milkweed plants become available in early June, they will be planted in a variety of settings, including the backyards of many private homes, an in-home day care center in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, a community vegetable garden on the Main Line, a condominium community, an elementary school yard and organic garden, a middle school yard, and a churchyard in Malvern. A retired couple in Downingtown inspired adults and children in their neighborhood to order 150 milkweeds.
Thanks to all of you who ordered plants and/or shared the need and opportunity with family, friends, and neighbors! We fervently hope that similar efforts are taking place across the country to help save the Monarchs.