Why?

Monarch butterfly numbers are in a free fall as their North American habitat is sprayed, tilled, and erased. Along with monarchs go countless other species. By planting milkweed (it is not a weed) in every home, school, church, and business landscape we can turn the tide -- one milkweed at a time.

  • Monarchs have existed for an estimated 250,000 years -- predating modern humans by 50,000 years.
  • The 1,500 mile North American migration from Mexico to Canada and back again is considered threatened or endangered by several wildlife groups. This means a potentially immanent disappearance of a unique phenomenon we don't understand, even though monarchs themselves will not vanish. 
  • The 2012-13 wintering grounds in Mexico held less than three acres of monarch butterflies, down nearly 60% from the year before. The high was 50 acres in 1996-97.
  • The decline in monarch numbers over the last 10 years matches an increased use of glyphosate (Roundup) weed killer over the last 15 years. Monarch egg laying has decreased by 81% over these time periods.
  • 84,000 tons of glyphosate are applied annually to agricultural fields, 6,800 tons by private business and government agencies, and 3,600 tons in home and school landscapes.
  • The increased use of GMO crops means an increased use in glyphosate. The companies who control the seed sources of these crops also control the chemicals used to grow them.
  • The Mississippi delta spills out into a dead zone of 6,000 square miles -- the dead zone is a result of agricultural chemicals draining into streams and rivers, then into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Since 2008, 37,000 square miles of remaining marginal wetlands, shrub lands, and prairie have been converted to cash crops as commodity prices rise. In Minnesota and the Dakotas during that time a size equal to the state of Connecticut was plowed up forever -- land often prone to erosion and flooding. This land is critical native habitat for monarchs and countless other species of insects, birds, mammals, and amphibians; additionally, the northern Plains are responsible for producing over 90% of all North American waterfowl. Saving milkweed saves countless other species of insects and animals.
Plant milkweed 
-- along with other nectar plants native to your region -- 
and avoid using pesticides of any kind.

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