Carol Stream has joined the growing ranks of villages, park districts and volunteer groups working to protect the eastern monarch.

The Village of Carol Stream, with the support and encouragement of Bill Bedrosian of Bedrock Earthscapes LLC , went looking for monarch habitat and found it in an existing natural area at the corner of Lies Rd and Gary Avenue. The area has been certified by Monarch Watch as providing what monarchs require, milkweed for caterpillars, nectar plants for adults, sheltered and sunny places in a location large enough to catch the butterfly’s attention.

carolstreammonarchwaystation

Jim Knudsen, the Village Engineering Services Director presented Carol Stream Mayor Frank Saverino with a Monarch Waystation sign.

Known for its spectacular fall migration between the US and Mexico, the eastern monarch is experiencing challenges. Its population has declined by as much as 90% in recent years, with the primary factor responsible being loss of milkweed, necessary for reproduction. Milkweed is an essential component of monarch habitat. Research indicates milkweed is disappearing as Round Up applications have increased on GMO Round Up ready crops and agricultural land is converted to other uses.

Identifying existing monarch habitat is important for knowing the best locations for planting additional milkweed in Dupage County. Monarch Joint Venture’s Monarch Recovery Plan calls for one billion new milkweed stems to restore the butterfly population to a size capable of bouncing back from extreme weather events and other threats.

Suburban gardens can also qualify as monarch habitat. Milkweed and nectar plants are attractive garden plants and provide monarchs with much needed breeding sites and refueling stations. It might be called a garden, prairie, park or vacant lot but monarchs can call it home.

Criteria for waystation designation can be found at:

http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/waystation_requirements.pdf

 

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