Milkweed for Monarchs – Donations Requested!

Friends of Lake Manawa has secured a grant from Monarch Watch to plant 288 milkweed plugs in Lake Manawa State Park. We will be hosting a Milkweed for Monarchs planting event, set for Saturday, August 1st from 10:00am-11:00am near the South Lake Manawa entrance parking lot. We are asking individuals interested in Monarch butterflies and preserving the Monarch migration for their help with a donation for this event! Funds donated will be used to purchase compost, mulch, and native perennial plants to accompany the milkweed plantings. Donate at this link by clicking on the “Donate Today” button.  Donations can be made via PayPal, but you do not need a PayPal account to donate online – you may use a credit card instead.  Before paying, please specify that your donation is for “Milkweed” in the notes section. Donate Today! Alternatively, you can mail donations via check to: Milkweed for Monarchs c/o Meribah Christensen 73 Lakewood Villa St, Council Bluffs, IA 51501 To sign-up to volunteer to plant milkweed on the day of the event, please email friendsoflakemanawa@gmail.com or call Meribah Christensen at (712) 328-2533. A volunteer waiver must be signed prior to participating in the event.  Each child 16 years of age or younger who would like to volunteer must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteer opportunities are on a limited basis and volunteers must sign-up by emailing or calling the number referenced above in order to participate in the event. We are asking each volunteer to bring their own shovel to help with planting. Due to long grass and a nearby road and parking lot, this volunteer event is not suitable for young children. For information on the Monarch butterfly and the species incredible migration, please refer to the following PDF: Monarch Migration...

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Milkweed for Monarchs

  Please stay tuned as we are in the planning stages to host our first annual Milkweed for Monarchs event!   Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed Information:   Download the PDF version here: Monarch and Milkweed Information   Monarch Caterpillar The four stages of the Monarch life cycle are the egg, the butterfly larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult. A Monarch caterpillar will gain about 2,700 times its original weight in 10-15 days. The monarch larva (caterpillar) molts, or sheds its skin, five times before entering the pupa stage. The caterpillar is in the pupa stage for 9 to 14 days. A large monarch caterpillar can eat an entire milkweed leaf in less than 4 minutes. The ONLY food that monarch caterpillars eat is the milkweed leaf. Milkweed leaves contain toxins that monarch caterpillars accumulate in their bodies, which makes them taste unpleasant to many predators.     Monarch Butterfly Monarchs are sensitive to wet and freezing temperatures. As the weather turns colder in the fall, they migrate from the north, from Canada and states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, for a weekslong journey south to the mountains of Mexico. West of the Rockies, the butterflies travel to the Southern California coast. In Mexico, the butterflies amass in the tens of millions, returning to the same area and the same trees, often arriving just in time for the festivities surrounding el Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. There, they spend the winter, until around February or March when they fly back north.     Monarch Migration The flight of the butterflies is the longest known distance insect migration on Earth, and it’s been occurring for thousands of years. It takes four generations, including a “Super Generation” of butterflies, to travel all the way from Canada to Mexico, overwinter, and make one final short trip to the southern United States to lay eggs. Then, the cycle begins again. Monarchs joining the migration each fall are three or four generations removed from those that made the journey the previous year – yet somehow, they find the same groves of trees visited by their ancestors. How monarchs navigate to theese forest groves remains an unsolved scientific mystery.  ...

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