Official Monarch Butterfly Waystation installed at North Creek Lake

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by Paula Brooks and Pat Cuff

In partnership, the Montgomery Village Garden Club and the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) officially registered a section of the North Creek Lake as a recognized Monarch Waystation with the Monarch Waystation Network. By creating this dedicated habitat, our community contributes to monarch butterfly conservation, an effort that will help in the preservation of the species and the continuation of the monarchs’ migration phenomenon.

As the program explains: “Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico.”

For more program details, visit www.monarchwatch.org/waystations.

The waystation’s space lies between the North Creek Nature Center and the Diane Stasiewicz Butterfly Garden (park bench currently designates that area). The official “Monarch Waystation” signs will be displayed at both the Nature Center and Butterfly Garden.

On July 8, the Montgomery Village Garden Club and the Montgomery Village Conservation Corps, led by John Baldridge (also a garden club member), worked together to restore the area on the left side of the North Creek Nature Center. Under the direction of Paula Brooks (a Montgomery County Master Gardener and garden club member), the MVF Conservation Corps planted native plants, pulled weeds and placed various herbs donated from garden club members. Nina Chace, another garden club member, helped to make labels and provide identification for plants. Markers now identify three different types of milkweeds: Common, Swamp and Butterfly. Additionally, labels show the mandatory butterfly support plants, such as Joe-Pye Weed, Echinacea (Cone flower), Black-eyed Susan, Hyssop, Mint, Thyme, Yarrow and Bee Balm.

MV Garden Club will continue to add more plants to the areas. Individuals or groups wanting to donate butterfly milkweed (asclepias tuberosa) for planting should e-mail Paula Brooks at pcbrooks44@yahoo.com.

To report sightings of Monarch Butterflies that appear at your home or around Montgomery Village, visit https://journeynorth.org.

The herbs planted in the four raised containers at the North Creek Nature Center are also maintained by the Montgomery Village Garden Club. Persons are encouraged to take clippings of the herbs, which include thyme, basil, oregano, fennel and mint. Montgomery Village Garden Club always welcomes new members. For more information, visit https://montgomeryvillagegardenclub.weebly.com.