During the month of October, Girl Scouts planted several hundred common milkweed and nectar-producing native plants to create 11 monarch butterfly habitats on public and private land to help save monarch butterflies. These conservationists from Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital partnered with Fairfax County Park Authority’s Invasive Management Area program at Blake Lane and Fred Crossfield Parks, and with Vale United Methodist Church, Waples Mill and Crossfield Elementary Schools, and several homeowners who offered sunny space to create a haven for common milkweed and butterfly-loving native plants. Daisy, Brownie, Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts from Service Unit 56-1 in Oakton and Oak Hill sincerely thank Fairfax County Park Authority and all the generous people who donated native plants, space in their yard, and their time for this project.
Cadette Girl Scout Katie Kritzler of Troop 780, Oakton, wrote the following about the experience:
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, local Girl Scouts and their parents met in the afternoon to make the world a better place. Inspired by the increasing loss of habitat and invasive species plant growth in the Northern Virginia area, we planted a monarch habitat garden at Blake Lane Park. We planted common milkweed and various monarch-friendly flowering plants such as coreopsis, asters, goldenrods, and joe pye weed. These will provide a safe place for monarchs to lay eggs and eat before their long trip to Mexico for the winter.
Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, like bees, are vital to our ecosystem, and it is crucial that we provide resources for them.
We all got a little dirty digging holes, planting seedlings and watering them to give them a fighting chance before the winter. My favorite of the work tasks was planting the little plants and gently replacing the soil around them. I can just imagine the butterflies finding this garden next year.
Other projects just like this one have been happening a lot recently in our local area and all of these are being done by Girl Scouts. We are trying to make the world a better place by saving the butterflies of the world. Anyone can make a difference in the world. Just plant some milkweed in a sunny place in your yard and soon you will have some butterflies.