Elm Lawn's school garden has been certified as a Monarch Waystation in North America, principal Bob Schell announced on Wednesday, Sept. 25.
This means the garden is designed to support multiple generations of monarchs and sustain their migration across North America. Check out a brochure on the Monarch Watch website to learn more.
Elm Lawn's school garden achieved the status as a result of three things:
- Increased the diversity of milkweed species in the garden. There are now three species: common milkweed, red or swamp milkweed, and butterflyweed, whic are all native to Wisconsin. These are the "host" plants for monarchs, where they lay their eggs.
- Increased the available native nectar species in the garden, thanks to generous Plant Dane donors, and other Elm lawn families who donated annual seeds, herbs and other flowering plants.
- Created water sources, including puddling stations, and diversified the habitat to support monarchs.
Late September and early October is peak monarch migration in Middleton. In fact, in the fall, Eastern monarchs travel up to 3,000 miles to get to their overwintering site in Mexico, including traveling 25-30 miles a day.