All images courtesy of Virginia C. Linch.
North Platte, Nebraska: Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch has been designated as a Sustainable Monarch Reserve. Sustainable Monarch is working with partners to establish a network of sites specifically managed for butterflies from Mexico to Canada that will support the Monarch migration and benefit local communities through economic incentives. Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch, located in Eatonton, Georgia has created a wonderful community greenspace entirely supported by volunteers. The organization delivers educational programs throughout the region, has a strong social media presence and is open to the public year-round free of charge for butterfly walks, counts, garden club meetings, nature photography, native plant sales and workdays that promote use of native plants in the area. A special activity includes collaborating with the local middle school to grow milkweed plants from seeds gathered in the garden for use on the site.
“Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch shows what can be accomplished for butterflies with a dedicated crew,” said Marcus Gray Executive Director of Sustainable Monarch, “The passion demonstrated by the people working on this public garden is something we would like others to emulate across the continent.”
Started in 2013, attaining multiple certifications, the group has installed native larval host plants for forty species of butterflies. The property is owned by the City of Eatonton and maintained as a park. The ¼ mile walking trail is composed of recycled, shredded, tires. The registered 501c(3) non-profit organization, spearheaded by retired Magistrate Judge, Virginia C. Linch, has planted native and nonnative nectar supplying plants as well as larval host plants inside and outside of the loop. Outreach undertakings for Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch include working with Georgia State Parks to produce the first printed guide to Georgia butterflies.
“This project has been involved with citizen science program of tagging and releasing Monarchs since the early days. We have eight different species of native milkweed established. We choose to refer to this project as a “habitat” as all the elements necessary for providing for the life cycles of butterflies, skippers and other pollinators have been installed as opposed to landscaping for the enjoyment of visitors.”
-Virginia C. Linch, Director, Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch.
The garden is open from dawn to dusk, including holidays, and follows state and federal guidelines related to social distancing and sanitation. If you would like to see what the project is all about and support their critical work, visit their page for more details, updates and directions to the site at 617 North Jefferson, Eatonton GA 31024.
Sustainable Monarch is a not-for-profit organization which works to protect the native plants butterflies need and promote economic development through milkweed-based products and activities. We are partnering with other organizations to encourage sound stewardship of natural resources and establish a network of reserves managed specifically to support monarch breeding and migration. Sustainable Monarch’s mission is to fuel the monarch migration by creating novel solutions that benefit local communities.