“A monarch butterfly is not ‘just an insect’ to me” said Warrenville resident Therese Davis, “nor is it to anyone, if you stop and think about it. Monarch butterflies represent life in transition. An egg hatches, a caterpillar grows, a chrysalis is made, a butterfly emerges. It is nothing short of pure magic!”
“I see the looks on my granddaughters’ faces and know they can see in a monarch butterfly wonderment and joy beyond words or comprehension,” she added. “Their beauty speaks to our hearts and touches our soul.”
Davis, you might say, is “all in” when it comes to monarch preservation. So she was incredibly delighted when on Oct. 3 the City Council of Warrenville pledged its support to the DuPage Monarch Project, vowing to create habitat for the tiny creatures and use its influence to educate residents on the importance of monarch friendly plantings and limiting pesticide use.
Therese Davis’ garden provides monarch habitat and was recognized in 2016 as having curb appeal by Warrenville in Bloom, a local beautification organization.
“The City of Warrenville is proud to help support the preservation of the monarch butterfly,” said Warrenville Mayor David Brummel. “Our Environmental Advisory Commission is committed to spreading the word on the importance and benefit of planting native gardens that contain host plants for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators.”
In this resolution the City of Warrenville followed the Warrenville Park District which took the honor of being the first municipal entity anywhere in DuPage County to pledge its support to DuPage Monarch Project when its board passed a monarch resolution on March 17. To date, Warrenville is the only place in DuPage where both the city government and park district have pledged support to the monarch butterfly.
“Municipalities and park districts are in a position to play a critical role in protecting monarch butterflies,” said Lonnie Morris, DMP coordinator. “Loss of habitat is a major component of recent monarch population declines. The monarch population reached a low in 2013 of only 10 percent of its historic population. Land owned by park districts is often suitable for both natural habitat and recreation. Mayors and municipal leaders that sign resolutions make their communities monarch friendly through educational outreach, leading by example on pesticide usage and managing public lands for pollinators.”
The DMP is a partnership of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage, Sierra Club River Prairie Group, The Conservation Foundation and Wild Ones Greater DuPage Chapter formed in 2015. DuPage County, being on the fly route of the iconic butterfly’s 3,000-mile migration from Canada to Mexico is in a position to help. Monarchs need milkweed to survive, as it is the only plant the caterpillars eat. Milkweed has been all but eradicated from farmland and country roadsides due to pesticides. Nectar plants are essential as well as food for the long journey.
“Monarch’s were a delight of my childhood,” said Connie Schmidt, Warrenville resident and chair of the Sierra Club River Prairie Group. Schmidt initiated the signing of both resolutions by calling the first meetings with the park district and Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission to discuss monarchs. She added, “As a child, I took monarchs for granted. I assumed they would always be there. I am proud that my town is so forward thinking doing its part to maintain the survival of this marvelous butterfly.”