Weatherford Living

Hands-on help for migrating monarchs

Imagine driving the interstate highway between Texas and Canada without plenty of fueling stations along the way. That’s what is facing the monarch butterfly during its annual migration from Mexico to Canada and back again - dwindling sources of food and rest stops in the natural environment. But many groups, including some in Parker County, are trying to reverse the decline by planting Monarch Waystations and butterfly gardens to help the insects feed and reproduce along their journey.

A program entitled "Butterfly Garden, Waystation or Habitat: A Choice in the Making" will be presented at Thursday’s meeting in Weatherford of the Cross Timbers chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Master Gardener Carol Welch will review the plight of the monarchs and what local residents can do to help. She will explain the difference between a butterfly garden, a butterfly habitat and a Monarch Waystation. Two such Waystations have been certified in Parker County - at Soldier Spring Park and Chandor Gardens - that include native milkweed, nectar plants and other vital resources for the monarch. Six more Waystations are planned this year by the Parker County Master Gardeners.

Welch is chairman of the Soldier Spring Park Monarch Waystation and was elected Parker County Master Gardener of the Year in 2014. Her specialty areas are plant propagation, butterfly gardening and gardening in a drought.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Cherry Park community building, 313 Davis St., in Weatherford. A short business meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be available and the public is always welcome.

The Cross Timbers Chapter promotes conservation, research and use of native plants in the rich biological region west of Fort Worth. Chapter meetings are held the second Thursday of the month. For information, go to www.npsot.org/wp/

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