I've spent the evening reading through posts I've overlooked previously. The Conservation forum caught my interest but I think my comments are better placed here. I've just worked out an idea to bring some attention to the problem of the disappearing habitat in our area.
To start with, we don't HAVE a Monarch habitat in our area! We created one by bringing in common milkweed from 200 kms away 10 years ago. Since then I've given away many plants as hostess gifts, some with cats and some with chrysalids, some just because a friend wanted to get a garden started.
Several years ago our Nature Society asked us to talk to their group about our project and that got some interest going. We wore our World Wildlife Monarch Butterfly t-shirts and I printed handouts, had Monarchs in poured resin, empty chrysalids in glass display boxes and enlargements of many of my best photos. It was a great evening and was well publicized both before and after the meeting. The group is now inactive so that door is closed.
One Saturday this summer we had driven 200 kms to pick leaves for our voracious cats and in the process I found I had included a few eggs and a few cats, in various instars. Everything was left in the van while we went to a dinner party before going home. During dinner we talked about our project and when everyone showed serious interest, I went to the van and brought in leaves, eggs and cats. One of the dinner guests later phoned a local Cottager-type magazine and told them what we're doing with the Monarchs at our summer home. The magazine sent someone out to do photos and a story for the spring edition. I sorted my own photos and had them on a nicely labeled cd to give to the reporter. Also gave her a nice sized potted milkweed plant.
I'm now thinking that next summer I can do better with some potted milkweed plants and caterpillars, my laptop and photos and spend a couple of hours at our weekly Farmers' Market, to try to generate some interest in milkweed/Monarch gardening. I could also have some 'domestic' milkweed to avoid the Invasive Weed police. Yeah, I think I'll put some thought and work into this...the more I think about it, the better I like it!