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Dade City Garden Club looks to “Save the Monarch”

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on September 10, 2018

What began as a simple discussion between gardeners has emerged as a community-wide effort to take the Monarch butterfly under its wing!

The Dade City Garden Club will be presenting “King of the Butterflies:  Saving the Monarch” at their September program meeting, scheduled for Monday, September 17th at 9:30 am. Presented by Anita Camacho, President of North American Butterfly Association (NABA)—Tampa Bay, this program will focus on educating garden club members and the public on the importance of butterflies as pollinators.  Anita has been raising butterflies for over 20 years and so far in 2018 has released over 400 Monarch butterflies along with other native Florida butterflies. Her presentation promises to be fun as well as informative and will educate attendees on how we all can make a difference in helping the Monarch recover here in Florida.

“There was a time when the Monarch butterfly was easily recognized by young and old alike as these big orange-winged butterflies were seen everywhere, from gardens and weedy lots to golf courses”, said Pat Carver, Chairman of the Garden Club’s “Birds, Bees, and Butterflies” Committee. “The Monarch was probably the first butterfly we caught as kids! But today, we hardly ever see a Monarch flying around and frankly, that alarmed us!”

After doing some research, the committee found some startling facts:  Nearly a billion monarch butterflies have vanished since 1990, according to data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in February 2015. Monarchs rely on the milkweed plants and nectar plants for their food and home and these plants are increasingly vanishing from our countryside for a variety of reasons. And even though Florida is home to more than 200 species of butterflies, the warm conditions enjoyed here later in the year could be contributing in part to the decline of the Monarch population.

The good news is that municipalities, community groups and even individuals can help save the Monarchs and other pollinators by taking a few simple steps. The Dade City Garden Club is inviting the community to join them on Monday, September 17th to learn how we can work together to “Save the Monarch”.

The Dade City Garden Club was established in 1947 and is dedicated to the education of its members and the public in the fields of gardening, horticulture, landscape design, floral design, and environmental awareness. The September 17th program meeting is free and will be held at The Dade City Garden Club at 13630 5th Street; Dade City, FL, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.  A special invitation is extended to the public to attend this informative meeting. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information about The Dade City Garden Club or about the September program meeting, call 908-890-4630.