I had a great tour of the Monarch Butterfly facility. Dana Bolin, the park’s naturalist and director of its Monarch Butterfly Rearing and Research Program, showed me around. So far, the nature center released over 11,000 monarch butterflies. Several teen volunteers were there helping her collect and hatch eggs, raise caterpillars, and release adult monarchs. About a dozen monarchs have been recovered in Mexico.
Like many of us Monarch enthusiasts, Bolin searches roadside stands of milkweed to rescue butterfly eggs and caterpillars from mowing crews.
Here’s the screened-in gazebo where the monarch rearing takes place.
Eggs and small and large caterpillars were separated in different cages. This cage for larger caterpillars shows Common Milkweed plant stems pushed snugly through holes in the tops of plastic containers, thus supplying water to the plants without the chance of drowning the caterpillars.
The milkweed plants retained their freshness in this manner…why didn't I think of that?! When I got back home, I searched for empty plastic containers with lids. Better than wrapping the milkweed stem ends with wet paper towels. Dana has been to Mexico where the Monarch spends the winter and attended the Monarch Teacher Network course. If you would enjoy introducing a "Monarch Curriculum" into your classroom, click HERE. Dana Bolin related how the curriculum crosses various course areas, including math, English, art, and social studies.
For more on Dana Bolin and her efforts to save the Monarch Butterfly, click HERE
For info on Maumee Bay State Park, click HERE
Also, why not Join Monarch Watch and transform part of your yard into a Monarch Waystation- click HERE
Robert Morton, M.Ed., Ed.S believes urban sprawl can be offset by creating wildlife-friendly spaces in America's 25,000,000 lawns, one yard at a time! Click HERE to learn why. A portion of Ad sale revenues will be donated to Monarch Watch. Do you have a wildlife-friendly space? Please share it! Contact us on the secure Bpath Mail Form.