Kentucky State Parks Building Monarch Butterfly Waystations
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- More than a dozen Kentucky State Parks are working on projects to help Monarch butterflies by preserving habitat and planting milkweed plants the butterflies need for survival.
The butterflies – easily identified because of their orange and black colors – are known for their annual journeys to Mexico each year for winter hibernation. Some scientists are concerned that loss of habitat is causing a decline in the Monarch population in some areas.
Five state parks – Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Lake Barkley State Resort Park, Waveland State Historic Site, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site and John James Audubon State Park – are certified Monarch “waystations” through Monarch Watch, a group working to protect the butterflies. The park system also uses a children’s menu that illustrated the life cycle of Monarch butterflies, designed by the Garden Club of Kentucky.
“We’re very proud at Kentucky State Parks to be part of this initiative to educate people about these special insects,” Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker said. “This shows that we all can make a difference and do something to preserve a part of our natural world.”
Ten other parks are in the process of getting certified or have planted milkweed plants. The waystations are places where milkweeds are planted to provide food and a place for Monarchs to lay their eggs.
Lincoln Homestead State Park near Springfield reduced mowing and the use of chemicals to allow a 10,000-square-foot section area to grow milkweed over the last two years. Monarchs have been seen on the area.