The Observatory has joined the Wisconsin Monarch Collaborative, a statewide consortium of organizations dedicated to conserving the Monarch butterfly.
Monarch numbers have dropped 90 percent in the last 20 years. We serve in the Collaborative as a resource partner, providing opportunities throughout the spring and summer for community scientists to learn how they can help reestablish this iconic insect.
Since increasing Monarch habitat is a primary goal, the Observatory educates the public on how to develop residential gardens that will provide host plants for Monarch caterpillars and the nectar plants necessary for a thriving butterfly and pollinator population. On May 19, 2019, we will hold a native plant sale at which we make hard-to-find milkweed and nectar plant species easily accessible.
Through our workshops, community scientists learn not only how to raise Monarchs safely, but also what data they can collect and share with important Monarch organizations like Monarch Watch and Journey North.
We work in cooperation with the University of Kansas's Monarch Watch tagging Gen 5 Monarchs that migrate to Mexico starting late August. All butterfly lovers are invited to watch and learn at our Monarch Tag-and-Release Celebration on Saturday, August 24, 2019.