Supporting Pollinators

We manage land to support pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Pollinators spread the pollen of plants that provide the foundation of the food chain, feeding wildlife and humans. Pollinators are, themselves, food as well.

A Focus on 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.

graph of monarch butterfly decline - support pollinators

How We’re 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 for biodiversity and clean water and thus 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 and other flowers that support pollinators in our meadows. Learn about our work on the Monarch Highway Habitat Project.

Donate to Help

We support pollinators with our pollinator and monarch butterfly friendly fields at Ashland Nature Center and our other sites

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.

Support monarch butterflies with 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 milkweed for teachers and nonprofits

We support pollinators such as monarch butterflies

Plant Flowering Plants

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

Support pollinators – plant flowering plants such as:

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

Buy these plants each spring at our annual sale:

Native Plant Sale

support pollinators: map of monarch butterfly migration

Eat Sustainably-grown Food

Sustainable food-growing practices, like those we use in the CSA fields of Coverdale Farm can help more milkweed and pollinator-friendly wildflowers grow.  It also helps ensure that they’re safe for pollinators to eat.

Shop our Farm Market

Spread the Word

monarch information to support pollinators

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(image courtesy