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Leo and Dorothy Keeler
The Monarch Garden Inn...
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How to Plant a Monarch Waystation

First of all, we'd like to thank Dr. Chip Taylor, Director of Monarchwatch.org, whose work inspired us to create our "Milkweed for Monarchs Butterfly Garden" Project on Kickstarter.com in 2014.

To see the photographic highlights of our success so far, please click here.

Deciding to plant a Monarch Waystation can be as easy as adding milkweed to your existing flower garden or starting from scratch. We've scoured the Internet for you, and below are our favorite references to help you:
  1. Favorite Web Sites
  2. Educational Resources for Teachers
  3. Available Grants
We also have included flower suggestions for gardens east and west of the Rocky Mountains:

Flower suggestions east of the Rocky Mountains


Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
Broadleaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia)


Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum)
Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Tithonia Torch, Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia)
Zinnia, Dahlia Mix (Zinnia elegans)

Flower suggestions for gardens west of the Rocky Mountains:


Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Narrowleaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)


Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)
Chia (Salvia columbariae)
Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea)
Tithonia Torch, Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia)
Zinnia, Dahlia Mix (Zinnia elegans)

Favorite Web Sites

Creator of the national Monarch Waystation program. Register and certify your Waystation to help monarch research: http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/certify.html

If you'd like to see an Instruction Guide on how to create a Monarch Waystation, click here.

Monarch Butterfly Migration
Track the monarch's progress on the map as they head north. Please help the researchers and report monarch sightings in YOUR area, too!

http://monarchbutterflygarden.net/ and http://monarchbutterflygarden.net/raising-monarch-butterflies-ebook
Excellent e-book on how to Rescue, Raise, and Release monarchs. This is the guide we used most when raising our first 38 monarchs that we collected as eggs.

How to Raise and Release Safely.
Captive rearing of wild monarchs at home or school is fine—as long as it's done carefully. It doesn't harm monarchs to bring them inside and rear them—in fact, it usually saves their lives.

Monarch Rearing Bug Cages, Trays, and Equipment
An assortment of Pop-up Bug Cages can be found on Amazon.com

In 2019, I found floral tubes with a rack that was made for holding milkweed stems on Amazon. All can be sterilized in a bleach solution.

Excellent photos of monarchs range, host plants, nectar plants, and life cycle

Excellent website to purchase monarch-specific host and nectar plants. The plants are packed well for shipping and arrive in great shape! They also offer flats of 32 plants for between $100-$125, depending on how many of each type you order. Subscribe to their newsletter, and they will alert you to when to order your plants; they sell out quickly!

Monarch Larva Monitoring Project
The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP) is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research.

How to Create Habitat for Monarchs

How to Build a Backyard Butterfly Garden

The Monarch Joint Venture is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.

Best Butterfly Gardening Web Sites
Butterfly gardens are easy to plant, and you can design one that gives monarchs habitat throughout their breeding cycle.

Find YOUR native plant list by zip code!

Excellent step-by-step instructions on how to grow milkweed, including two videos covering "cold moist stratification."

BONAP's North American Plant Atlas
Excellent distribution maps for milkweed in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada.

Peak Migration Dates: When will the migration peak in my area?

Lookup your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code

Photos of butterfly caterpillars to help with identification

This web site will help you attract butterflies to your garden by showing you the nectar plants they need for food and the host plants they need to lay their eggs. You can also identify which butterflies you can attract to your garden by zip code.

Excellent guide to help you identify butterflies you may see in your garden or in the field by their shape, wingspan, opened and closed wing color, common name and family name.

Excellent website for children that includes numerous topics for kids to explore including Fun Facts About Butterflies, Butterfly Gardening, and Butterfly Fun.

Another excellent website for kids.

Regional Species Checklists
To generate a regional checklist of butterfly and/or moth species, select a species type, then select a region from the drop-down menu(s).

Attributes of Monarch - Danaus plexippus

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Educational Resources for Teachers

To offset the loss of milkweed and nectar sources, Monarch Watch encourages people to create, conserve, and protect milkweed/monarch habitats. "Monarch Waystations can be established in home gardens, at schools, businesses, parks, zoos, nature centers, along roadsides, and on other unused plots of land. Without a major effort to restore milkweeds to as many locations as possible, the monarch population is certain to decline to extremely low levels.

The Monarch Joint Venture Monarch Conservation Webinar Series is a great resource for more information on monarch background, conservation, and research.

Lesson Plans for Planning a Pollinator Garden - Grades 4-8

Best Butterfly Gardening Web Sites
From Journey North
Butterfly gardens are easy to plant, and you can design one that gives monarchs habitat throughout their breeding cycle.

Pollinator Resources for Teachers
This section provides a variety of resources for teachers to explain the connection between pollinators, plants and people! Here you will learn the basics of planting a pollinator garden as well as have access to pollinator activities that can be done right in the classroom or at home.

Eco-regional Planting Guides
These eco-regional planting guides are tailored to specific areas of the U.S. Enter your zip code and you'll get a 24-page pdf file with native planting information that will help you select plants for pollinators.

Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.

From the National Wildlife Federation and Prince William Network
Explore this web site to learn about habitat and for a wealth of information how to create an accessible wildlife habitat site, or outdoor classroom, right in your own schoolyard!

Butterfly Heros - Your students, youth group and community can be heroes to monarchs, and other types of garden wildlife!

Lesson Plans From The National Wildlife Federation
A Next Generation Science-Standards Based Curriculum K-12

Gardening and plant-based learning open a door to discovery of the living world. Within the school environment, a garden offers an unparalleled platform to help kids achieve learning goals in ways that are recommended by the National Science Standards and most state and local educational bodies. This web site includes sections on: making the case for a garden, planning for success, creating the garden, learning in the garden, and keeping it growing.

Kids are especially captivated by butterfly science! Here are some butterfly lesson plans, curricula, teaching tools and more.

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Available Grants

Project Learning Tree GreenWorks Grants
Project Learning Tree offers GreenWorks! Grants up to $1,000 to schools and youth organizations for environmental service-learning projects that link classroom learning to the real world. Students implement an action project they help design to green their school or to improve an aspect of their neighborhood’s environment.

Schoolyard Grant Sources

NGAs grant and award programs are funded by generous corporations and foundations that share NGA's vision of a greener future and belief in the powerful impact gardening programs can have on the mental, physical, and psychological health of individuals. Beginning with 50 Youth Garden Grants in 1982, NGA has delivered 9,596 grants and awards worth approximately $3.96 million, reaching an estimated 1.6 million young gardeners.

The University of Minnesota offers a dozen opportunities for Monarch garden grants.

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On behalf of Monarch butterflies everywhere, thanks for caring!

Privacy Policy

All images and web site content Copyright © Leo and Dorothy Keeler

All images are registered and protected by copyright laws. Written permission from the photographers,and payment of a licensing fee, is required prior to any publication or use. All rights remain with the photographers and are fully reserved.

Please contact us for any use of these images: info@akwildlife.com
Wilderness Inspirations - P.O. Box 433 - Emigrant, Montana 59027 - 406-333-4366