Illinois’ State insect is one step closer to extinction. The Monarch butterfly was recently added to the endangered list by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Being added to the “red list” for endangered insects is alarming because it’s two steps away from extinction. The Park District of Franklin Park continues to raise awareness and take steps to prevent pollinator extinction, and you can help at home too!
Milkweed plants are common food sources and host plants for the Monarch. They are critical for the Monarchs’ survival. Many of our parks have milkweed and we are aiming to have pollinator friendly areas at all 17 neighborhood parks. Here at the Community Center, we have milkweed seeds just for you! Next time you visit the Community Center, stop by the front desk and ask for a baggie of seeds. If planting this season, you should see some growth in the spring.
Reduce Pesticide Usage
Bugs on your plants is a sign that they are thriving! Using harmful pesticides in your garden kills harmless insects, including pollinators. These pesticides lurk inside your garden for weeks or even months, leaving Monarch caterpillars unable to survive on the leaves. Having a safe and healthy garden for Monarch butterflies means using non-systemic pesticides such as insecticidal soap.
Spread the Word and Educate
Make a difference by spreading the word! Sharing educational materials with your family and friends about the endangered Monarch butterflies will help raise more awareness. If your local business, troop or group is looking for an initiative to participate in, consider helping the Monarch. The more people who know how to help the Monarch butterflies, the better!