Saving the Monarch Butterfly and Beautifying Northeast Philadelphia
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To beautify the Mayfair, Holmesburg, Tacony, and Wissinoming neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia by planting vegetation that will help the endangered monarch butterfly.
The Mayfair Monarch Project was originally inspired by the butterfly pavilion that will open in June 2016 at the Insectarium in Holmesburg. This will be a big deal, bringing 100s of 1000s of people to the neighborhood.
The original idea was to "borrow" the butterfly idea to thematically tie together this 3 mile long commercial stretch of Frankford Ave visually, and to plant butterfly bushes in various underused planters to beautify the neighborhood while providing a food source for butterflies. The project has expanded to promote the planting of milkweed to help the endangered monarch butterfly.
Milkweed, a native wild flower, is the only plant a monarch will lay her eggs on. The Insectarium will release several hundred thousand monarch every year! But without milkweed, the monarchs will die off without reproducing.
We can and will make a difference:
The US Fish and Wildlife service is aggressively working to persuade all of us to pay attention to the needs of the Monarch Butterfly. Their staff of horticulturists, entomologists and communicators have extensive information for anyone interested. Here’s a bit of their advice:
The monarch butterfly is one of the most recognizable species of wildlife in all of America. They undertake one of the world’s most remarkable and fascinating migrations, traveling thousands of miles over many generations from Canada, across the United States to Mexico.
North American monarch butterflies are in trouble. Threats, including loss of milkweed habitat needed to lay their eggs and for their caterpillars to eat, are having a devastating impact on their populations and the migration phenomenon. Unless we act now to help the Monarch, this amazing animal could disappear in our lifetime.
The Insectarium Institute, The Mayfair Business Association, Mayfair Monarch Project, and Rutgers Entomology Department have partnered with a very aggressive program that can and will make a difference for many generations to come, but we need your help too.
Monarch Butterflies only lay their eggs on the Milkweed plants. Our goal for 2016 is to plant 500,000 milkweed plants. Milkweed plants alone will not solve the Monarch population. The Insectarium Institute will be opening a 8,000 square foot Rainforest Butterfly Pavilion (coming summer of 2016). It will contain 21,500 plants, trees and shrubs. 10,000 of those plants will be milkweed. The Pavilion will house 67 varieties of Butterflies. Insectarium will be bringing in 2,000 Monarch butterflies that are being raised on Butterfly farms in Florida. 1,000 of them will be females. Each female will lay between 200 and 750 eggs each if milkweed is available. That will give us 200,000 monarch to be release in the wild. If there is enough milkweed planted there will be 100,000 released females laying 200 eggs each which will give the world another 20 million Monarchs. We can make a difference.
What we are doing:
Mayfair Business Association along with students with Lincoln H.S. will be planting milkweed in planters from Robbins Ave. to Academy road. They have and are reaching out to business that have any green space and planting milkweed. The Mayfair Monarch project started by Mike Scotese has had meetings and is working with Mia Hylan from State Representative John Taylors office to have milkweed planted by on and off ramps of I-95. Contacting schools science departments for students to raise milkweed plants in there classrooms and plant them around the school in the spring . Hopefully they will be meeting with Boy scouts and Girl scouts leaders and possibly selling milkweed plants to family and neighbors as a fund raisers. They will be talking to the City to plant milkweed in their green areas. We have met with the Delaware River City Corp. (DRCC) as part of there mission is to restore or create natural habitats on/along their trails. Also they are interested in creating Butterfly gardens in Pennypack park.
What we need:
We need you and your neighbors to plant milkweed in your gardens, stop using herbicides. Volunteer at the Insectarium, help growing milkweed. Ask suppliers to donate planters and potting soil. Educate the public about milkweed. Give us ideas on improving our programs.
Whether in a dedicated spot in yard or garden or in a planter, most of us have some outside space to plant some milkweed. One female monarch can lay up to 100 viable eggs on a single milkweed plant.
But where you do you get some milkweed? Well, we are working on that. Please see Schools, Scouts, & Churches
Commercial Property Owners
If you have a property with a lot of underused lawn, we can help you turn it into a milkweed patch. This will both beautify your property and could decrease your lawncare costs.
Schools, Scouts, Churches, & Other Organizations
Looking for fundraiser that is also a fun project, how about raising milkweed from seed to sell to our neighbors?
We will help publicize your milkweed sale.
Speakers are available to come to your organization to talk about the endangerment of the monarchs and what we can do. Contact NAME, PHONE, EMAIL to set it up.