By Rhonda Massad
Baie d’Urfé environment committee member Robert Brown took the initiative to plant a milkweed garden in hopes that the monarch butterfly would eventually return to breed.
“I had some milk weed plant seeds in my basement for the last few years, planning to grow a garden one day,” Brown told The Suburban in an interview, “I took action this year and grew 100 seedlings at the Macdonald College horticultural building.”
According to Brown, council was receptive to the idea of a milkweed garden on the city property on Stafford Street when he proposed it. It took two months but the 250 square foot garden with a grass buffer was actually planted on June 12.
“The monarch butterfly will only migrate to in a milkweed plant, nothing else will do,” he explained, ”with the increase in corn planting there is a great reduction of wild milkweed. I am hoping that next year they will flower which will encourage the return of the monarch.”
As explained on the David Suzuki Foundation web site, the monarch butterfly is in danger. They are threatened due to a loss of native plants like milkweed, severe weather conditions and an increase in logging in Mexican forests. Suggested solutions are increasing milkweed, reduce herbicides and pesticides and stronger protection of monarch wintering grounds.
“If we can give them a habitat maybe they will come and we will have changed things, just a little, for the better,” Brown hoped.