Help monarch butterflies

Here at Delaware Nature Society, monarch butterflies matter.

The monarch butterfly has always been a special part of our animal diversity in North America and we want to do everything we can to ensure their numbers return and thrive.

Monarch butterflies are in trouble

Their numbers have been declining in the last several years over much of their North American range.

Why they're declining

There are multiple reasons for this decline, including the loss of open meadow habitat that monarch butterflies depend upon for food and successful reproduction. They need habitat - flowers and milkweed - across their migration path, including here in Delaware.

map of monarch butterfly migration
(image courtesy pollinator.org)
monarch butterfly friendly fields at Ashland Nature Center

How Delaware Nature Society is helping

Monarch-friendly meadows
Most of the meadow areas at the locations we operate – Ashland Nature Center, Abbott's Mill Nature Center, Coverdale Farm Preserve, and DuPont Environmental Education Center – are managed to provide monarch butterflies with the plants they need to survive. Native flowering plants and milkweeds, such as those listed at right, thrive in our fields. We use carefully-timed mowing, controlled burning, and supplemental seeding to increase the amount of milkweed in our meadows.
Donate to help our efforts »

monarch butterfly life cycle

How you can help

Plant milkweed plants
Milkweed is very important for monarch caterpillars, which feed only on the leaves of the milkweed plant and monarch butterflies lay eggs on their leaves.
Native varieties we recommend:

  • common milkweed (Asclepias syriaia)
  • swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate)
  • butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberose)

Buy these plants each spring at our annual Native Plant Sale »
Free milkweeds for teachers and nonprofits »

Plant flowering plants
Flowering plants provide food (nectar) for the adult monarch butterflies as they migrate through our area in spring and fall.
Plant flowering plants such as:

  • daisies
  • brown-eyed Susans
  • ironweed
  • Joe-Pye weed

Buy these plants each spring at our annual Native Plant Sale »

Eat sustainably grown food
Sustainable food-growing practices, like those of our CSA at Coverdale Farm can help more milkweed to grow.
Join our CSA for fresh produce and flowers »

Spread the word

monarch information

Share or print monarch butterfly info »

(image courtesy pollinator.org)