Hi! Thanks for coming back to my blog. When people think about real estate and buying homes, it's often the yard that appeals to future buyers. When I was a new real estate agent, it was fun to listen to the families as they toured homes, and when we got to the yards, they envisioned playing, gardening, and spending weekends living in their new outdoor spaces. I love to be outside--and I have since I was a little girl. I used to ride my bicycle through the countryside every Saturday. During my ride, I loved to watch the cattails blow in the breeze as I peddled along country lanes. Sometimes, I would stop alongside the road to admire the wild carrot--they especially caught my attention when being visited by butterflies. I would spend time fascinated by the delicate wings of the butterfly. I savored those moments all week, looking forward to the weekend when I could get outside and enjoy the sunshine and the quiet beauty of nature in all it’s glory. Now that I am a real estate broker, I admire the many lovely homes, but I must admit—it’s the gardens, that captivate me. In fact, it’s the flowers, birds and the butterflies that still delight the child inside of me. And I wanted to bring awareness to a passion that is near and dear to my heart—the monarch butterfly. Monarch butterflies are currently endangered.
In real estate it’s location, location, location and for monarchs and other wildlife it’s habitat, habitat, habitat”, said Chip Taylor, Director of Monarch Watch. Monarch Watch (www.MonarchWatch.org) started in 1992 as an outreach program dedicated to engaging the public in studies of monarchs and is now concentrating its efforts on monarch conservation. “We have a lot of habitat in this country but we are losing it at a rapid pace. Development is consuming 6,000 acres a day, a loss of 2.2 million acres per year. Further, the overuse of herbicides along roadsides and elsewhere is turning diverse areas that support monarchs, pollinators, and other wildlife into grass-filled landscapes that support few species. The adoption of genetically modified soybeans and corn have further reduced monarch habitat. If these trends continue, monarchs are certain to decline, threatening the very existence of their magnificent migration”, said Taylor.
To address these changes and restore habitats for monarchs, pollinators, and other wildlife, Monarch Watch is initiating a nationwide landscape restoration program called “Bring Back The Monarchs.” The goals of this program are to restore 20 milkweed species, used by monarch caterpillars as food, to their native ranges throughout the United States and to encourage the planting of nectar-producing native flowers that support adult monarchs and other pollinators.
This program is an outgrowth of the Monarch Waystation Program started by Monarch Watch in 2005. There are now over 35,000 certified Monarch Waystations – mostly habitats created in home gardens, schoolyards, parks, and commercial landscaping. “While these sites contribute to monarch conservation, it is clear that to save the monarch migration we need to do more,” Taylor said. “ We need to think on a bigger scale and we need to think ahead, to anticipate how things are going to change as a result of population growth, development, changes in agriculture, and most of all, changes in the climate,” said Taylor.
In fact, you can create a Monarch Waystation in your own backyard. Check back in next Wednesday, to learn more about how we can all work together to protect our environment and save the Monarch. See you soon! Warmly, Susan