President’s Project – Appalachian Wildlife Center

In Bell County in the Mountain Laurel District of The Garden Club of Kentucky there is a 12,000-acre tract of land that is being developed for an elk preserve by The Appalachian Wildlife Foundation. This preserve, which will be developed on abandoned coal strip mine property, will have a visitor’s center, small lake, restaurant, petting zoo and elk viewing tours as well as historical displays of the area’s mining on this land. These acres of old strip mine property that surround the visitor’s center will be reclaimed and planted to create the prairie necessary for the elk. This area is isolated and free from pesticide overspray. Several rare migratory birds have been sighted in the preserve that depend on feeding from our native seeds and berries along their journey. There are bear, fox, bobcats and other small mammals living on the property.

For my special project, our garden club members will collaborate with The Appalachian Wildlife Center to develop several acres of native habitat near the visitor’s center. We would provide seed and help develop plans for fields of native wildflowers and grasses that would provide food and shelter for many birds, small mammals, insects and other creatures.

This area and its surrounds would need to include a covered outdoor classroom and walking trails for students and other visitors to the preserve.

I feel that my project would be an educational tool that would help all visitors learn how important native plants are to the protection and continuation of all native life around us.

President’s Project: KY Highway Right-of-Ways

Native Plants on Highway Right-of-Ways and Public Space in KY

There have been some efforts made in Kentucky to plant small plots of native plants for our pollinators in Monarch Way Stations, in our state parks and on our highway right-of-way.

The Kentucky Transportation cabinet has approximately 200,000 acres of right-of-way. Of that, it maintains about 100,000 acres with mowing, spraying, re-seeding, etc. In addition, our counties maintain other roads that contain additional acreage that are maintained.

Our members are asked to work with local government agencies to develop areas that are planted with native plants. This will increase the native plants on our highway properties and help eliminate invasive species that threaten the native plants.

See President’s Award #2

Native Plants for Pollinators and Wildlife

click this link below to download a printable chart


(from The Garden Club of Kentucky),

KEY:  s = sunny, ps = part sun, wd = well drained, d = dry, m = moist

Common Name Botanical Name Sun Water Ht Attracts Bloom Color
Beardtongue Penstemon sp. s, ps d 2-3 ft hummingbird, butterflies, bees purple, red, white
Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis shade wd 6 in. Bees (important early) White,ephemeral
Coneflowers Echinacea sp. s d 2-3 ft butterflies (host), bees pink, yellow
Golden Alexander Zizia aurea ps d, m 2 ft butterflies (host), flies, wasps, bees yellow
Purple Poppy Mallow Callirhoe involucrata s m, wd 1–2 ft bees, hummers, rodents, beetles bright pink
Red Honeysuckle Lonicera sempervirens s, d d 8 ft vine Hummingbirds, bees bright red
Serviceberry (shrub) Amelanchier sp. s, ps m 5-10 ft bees, wasps, flies white – blooms very early
Spicebush (shrub) Lindera benzoin ps, d, wd 6ft butterflies (host) yellow
Sweetspire (shrub) Itea virginica ps m 3-7ft bees, butterflies/ moths, flies, wasps white
Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis s, ps wd 2ft hummingbirds, bees red and yellow
Anise Hyssop Agastache sp. and cultivars s d 2-3 ft. hummingbird, bees, butterflies purple to pink, herb
Bee balm, Bergamot, etc. Monarda sp s  wd 2-3 ft hummingbird, bees, moths, butterflies, purple, white, red
Buttonbush (shrub) Cephalanthus occidentalis s  m 8 ft. bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, flies white
Garden Phlox Phlox paniculata s, ps  d 2- 4 ft butterflies, bees, moths pink, white, purple
Gayfeather, Blazingstar Liatris sp. s  wd 2-4 ft. butterflies, bees, moths, wasps, flies purple
Milkweed Asclepias sp s  d 1 to 6 ft. butterflies (host), bees white, orange, purple, yellow
Rose Mallow Hibiscus moscheutos s  d, m 3-8 ft hummingbirds, bees, beetles white, pink with red throat
Royal Catchfly Silene regia s  wd 3 ft hummingbirds bright red
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia sp s  wd 2-5 ft bees, butterflies (esp. laciniata) yellow
St. John’s Wort Hypericum sp. s, ps  wd 1-3 ft bees yellow
Sunflowers Helianthus sp. s  d, wd 3-8 ft butterflies, bees, wasps, beetle yellow, orange
Aster Aster, sp. s, ps wd 1-4 ft all pollinators, butterfly host purple, pink white
Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinalis ps m 1-3 ft hummingbirds red
Goldenrod Solidago sp s, ps d 1-3 ft bees, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps yellow
Great Blue Lobelia Lobelia siphilitica ps, m m 1-3 ft bees, hummingbirds purple
Joe Pye Weed

(and cultivars)

Eutrochium purpureum s, ps m 3-5 ft butterflies (host) moths, bees light purple to pink
Mist Plant Conoclinium coelestinum s, ps m 1-3 ft Butterflies, bees purple


Online Resources – Education about Pollinators






Pollinator Presentation

Pages from Pollinator Presentation for kids

Read Pollinator Power by National Garden Club.

Below are  links to a presentation for kids about pollinators:

  • why should they care?
  • what ARE pollinators?
  • what IS pollination?

Pollinator Presentation for Kids (PowerPoint with animations)

Pollinator Presentation for Kids (PDF)

Notes to use with the presentations (PDF)

Thanks to the following for creation of this presentation:

  • Wild Ones Lexington Chapter
  • Betty Hall
  • Connie May
  • Mary Carol Cooper
  • Tom Barnes
  • Linda Porter

For more information, or to receive the presentation on a flash drive, contact Linda Porter.


Joanna Kirby, president of the Kentucky Garden Club, is urging gardeners to establish “monarch way stations” across the state where the larvae may feed.

Read more here:

Kirby and others, including and Wild Ones, a leader in the natural landscaping movement, want gardeners to understand how to build and maintain monarch habitats, including milkweed. That is not just an activity for gardeners; it can be undertaken by schools, community groups and local governments.

Flemingsburg Garden Club’s Monarch Waystation:

Mary Jane Scaggs, Linda Porter, and Joanna Kirby
Mary Jane Scaggs, Linda Porter, and Joanna Kirby

Millersburg Garden Club’s Monarch Waystation:

Linda Porter, Linda Gillespie, Joanna Kirby, and Judy Cleaver at Millerburg's Waystation
Linda Porter, Linda Gillespie, Joanna Kirby, and Judy Cleaver at Millerburg’s Waystation
Millersburg Garden Club's Monarch Waystation
Millersburg Garden Club’s Monarch Waystation


Monarch on Milkweed Vine in Woodford County:

Monarch on Milkweed Vine in Woodford County

Danville Rotary Club Monarch Waystation:

Rotary President Logan Germann; Joanna Kirby; Mayor Bernie Hunstad; Susan Jonas, Garden Club of Danville
Rotary President Logan Germann; Joanna Kirby; Mayor Bernie Hunstad; Susan Jonas, Garden Club of Danville
Danville Rotary presentation by President Logan Germann
Danville Rotary presentation by President Logan Germann

Danville Rotary Monarch Waystation Presentation 3

Garden Side Green Thumb Garden Club’s Waveland State Historic Site Waystation:

Waveland State Historic Site Waystation, Gardenside Green Thumb

Monarch Waystation at Irvine Elementary School:

Waystation at Irvine Elementary School

Down To Earth Garden Club’s Waveland State Historic Site Waystation:

Waveland State Historic Site Waystation, Down to Earth GCWaveland State Historic Site Waystation, Down to Earth GC2



Dedication of  Monard Way Station at the Anderson County Public Library, sponsored by La Jardienere Garden Club, Frankfort, KY
Dedication of Monard Way Station at the Anderson County Public Library, sponsored by La Jardienere Garden Club, Frankfort, KY


Monarch Way Station, Anderson County Public Library
Monarch Way Station, Anderson County Public Library




Monarch Way Station sign, sponsored by La Jardiniere

Monarch News

Send a Monarch to Mexico, 2015

The 20th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration is about to begin. Children in the US and Canada are invited to create ambassador butterflies for students who live beside the monarchs’ winter sanctuaries in Mexico. Postmark deadline: October 9, 2015

Monarch Ambassador 08-15

Mexican students hold ambassador butterflies with El Rosario monarch sanctuary in the background.

June 18, 2015

As migration winds down, the milkweed patch is the place to be. Egg-laying females are looking for milkweed, and males are looking for females.

June 11, 2015

Spring migration is almost complete. The population has now expanded from 3 acres of winter habitat in Mexico into 1 billion acres of breeding habitat in the US and Canada. How many generations will the monarchs produce this summer where you live?

June 4, 2015

The grandchildren of the monarchs from Mexico are developing now. How many generations will this summer yield?

May 14, 2015

Watch out for imposters! How can you tell?

May 7, 2015

Eating and growing, today’s monarch caterpillars will soon be northbound butterflies. Here comes the next generation.

April 29, 2015

A monarch lays an egg in your garden. What happens next?


Jenny Wiley Butterfly Weekend 92515

April 23, 2015

No longer their brilliant orange, the monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their travels. A new generation will continue the journey north.

April 16, 2015

With milkweed paving the way, the leading edge of the migration is now 1,500 miles from the overwintering region in Mexico. How do monarchs find the milkweed they need for egg-laying?

April 2, 2015

Migration enters Texas! The monarch parade began on Sunday and continued all week. What will this latest-ever arrival mean for spring production?

March 26, 2015

At last — here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a mass departure on Tuesday, with north-bound butterflies filling the sky over Angangueo. These monarchs carry the seeds of the next generation.

Monarch News: March 26, 2015

March 18, 2015

Weather delays! We’re still waiting for the mass exodus from Mexico and first arrivals in Texas.

Monarch News: March 18, 2015

March 12, 2015

Mating is reaching its peak as the monarchs get ready to head north to the breeding grounds. Mass departure from Mexico is imminent.

Monarch News: March 12, 2015

March 5, 2015

Activity is reaching fever pitch. Within the month monarchs will vacate their winter haunt and begin the recolonization of North America.

Monarch News: March 5, 2015

February 26, 2015

There’s a flurry of activity now as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. This is the beginning of colony break-up in advance of spring migration.

Monarch News: February 26, 2015

February 19, 2015

Spring is approaching for monarchs in Mexico, but last week’s hail storm provide that winter’s not over yet.

Monarch Butterfly News: February 19, 2015

February 12, 2015

The monarch’s winter home in Mexico is surprisingly cold. Temperatures often fall to freezing! Why do monarchs migrate to such a cold place?

Monarch Butterfly News: February 12, 2015

February 10, 2015

U.S. Government Pledges $3.2 Million for Monarch Conservation!

Monarch Butterfly News: February 10, 2015

February 5, 2015

Monarchs from across the continent are now clustered by the millions in a small region of Mexico. This year, half of the monarchs are concentrated in only one of the 12 overwintering sites. How does this year compare to previous years?

Monarch Butterfly News: February 5, 2015

January 27, 2015

This year’s monarch population is second smallest ever, 80% below the historic average. There are 57 million monarchs compared to a long-term average of 300 million. Half of this year’s monarchs are residing in only one of the 12 traditional sites.

Monarch Butterfly News


Monarch on Tropical Milkweed

Monarch numbers seem to be rising!! But, one important point is to plant native, not tropical, milkweed, which stays lush into the fall, confusing the Monarchs. “Butterfly enthusiasts shouldn’t feel bad for planting tropical milkweed, monarch researchers say. But they should cut the plants back in fall and winter. Or even better, replace them with natives. There are native plant societies across the country that can offer advice.”

November 6, 2014

It’s official!  The first colony — containing several thousand monarchs — was discovered in the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary on November 2, 2014. “Faithful to their cultural and ancestral tradition, the monarchs have begun to arrive in their overwintering palace in Mexico,” reports Biologist Felipe Martínez Meza.

Monarch Butterfly News: November 6, 2014

October 31, 2014

“The first monarchs of the 2014-2015 overwintering season have reached their mountain home in México! At 6:35 pm this evening at full sunset, three monarchs were flying about in the core of El Cerrito Forest, likely preparing to rest for the night in the soft pines having just completed their long journey south.” —- Estela Romero, Michoacán, México.  October 30, 2014.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 31, 2014

October 30, 2014

The first monarchs are expected to reach their winter home any day! Traditionally they arrival by November 1st, Mexico’s Day of the Dead. “The arrival of the monarchs symbolizes our ancestors’ souls returning to Earth for their annual visit,” says Estela Romero.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 30, 2014

October 23, 2014

After funneling across Texas for over two weeks, the monarchs are entering northern Mexico now and traveling the final 500 miles of their journey. Large concentrations are raising hopes for a population rebound.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 23, 2014

October 9, 2014

North winds swept the migration into Texas this week, and marked the beginning of peak season in the state known for the most spectacular migration of all.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 9, 2014

October 2, 2014

After nearly two weeks of south winds, the leading edge of the migration hasn’t moved south of Kansas. To the delight of people watching, monarchs continue to come down from the north and are stacking up as they wait for a north wind.

Monarch Butterfly News: October 2, 2014

September 25, 2014

The Atlantic Ocean is directing the migration now in the east. Monarchs hug the coast as they travel southward, trying to avoid the winds that can carry them out to sea.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 25, 2014

September 18, 2014

Unseasonably cold temperatures this week shortened daily flights, but the monarchs pressed on.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 18, 2014

September 11, 2014

People counted monarchs roosting by the hundreds, feeding by the dozens, and flying overhead at rates up to 16 monarchs per minute. Comparative counts reveal migration pathways — and are pointing to a larger population this year.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 11, 2014

September 4, 2014

Mobbing favorite nectar sources and resting at overnight roosts, migration is approaching its peak in the north central region. This year’s large numbers are a hopeful sign.

Monarch Butterfly News: September 4, 2014

August 5, 2014

The magnificent migratory generation is developing now. Watch for signs of southward movement in mid-August.

Monarch Butterfly News:  August 5, 2014

Buckhorn Lake State Park Butterfly Garden Report

Click here to read about the success of Buckhorn Lake State Park’s Butterfly Garden, and see before and after photos!

July 2014

Breeding is in full force now, and the population is growing with each new generation.

Please report monarch adults, eggs, and larvae and tell us how many you are seeing.

Monarch Butterfly News: July 2014

June 19, 2014

Tracking continues! Maps reveal key breeding habitat.  Please report your first monarch egg, larva, and adult.

Monarch Butterfly News: June 19, 2014

June 12, 2014

Three months into the migration, the monarchs have now spread across 1 billion acres into prime breeding habitat.

Monarch Butterfly News: June 12, 2014

June 5, 2014

With breeding season in full force now, monarchs need nectar to fuel their active lives. We can’t just plant milkweed. We have to plant nectar plants, too!

Monarch Butterfly News: June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014

A dramatic increase in monarch eggs reported this week brings a hopeful start to the breeding season in the north. Where on the milkweed plant does a monarch lay her eggs, and why does it matter?

Monarch Butterfly News: May 29, 2014

May 22, 2014

Sightings doubled this week as monarchs sailed into the Upper Midwest. Dr. Chip Taylor is watching for prospects of recovery.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 22, 2014

May 15, 2014

Sailing on south winds, monarchs advanced into 4 new states and our first Canadian province. Those from Mexico are fading away, but one remarkable female made it to Indiana.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 15, 2014

May 7, 2014

With wings to the wind, the monarchs are about to fly swiftly into new northern territory. Look closely at the wings that can carry them so far.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 7, 2014

May 1, 2014

The first monarchs of the new generation are now appearing! Watch for sightings to surge as the butterflies reach their northern breeding grounds.

Monarch Butterfly News: May 1, 2014

April 24, 2014

The monarchs from Mexico are nearing the end of their journey, and a new generation will soon take their place. The wings of butterflies that overwintered in Mexico are typically faded, tattered, or torn. Observers are watching for fresh-winged monarchs now, a sign that the next generation is appearing.

Monarch Butterfly News: April 24, 2014

April 16, 2014

In honor of Earth Day, share the monarch’s remarkable story to inspire your community to protect milkweed and nectar-rich habitats.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 16, 2014

April 10, 2014

Following spring milkweeds, monarchs are quickly spreading across their southern range. The population that occupied only 1.65 acres of winter habitat have now expanded into over 200 million acres of breeding habitat.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 10, 2014

April 3, 2014

The monarchs are moving across Texas in full force now, and hundreds of thousands still remain in Mexico. This week, several unexpected sightings have raised valuable questions.

Monarch Butterfly News:  April 3, 2014

March 27, 2014

Here come the monarchs! The first wave of migrants has entered Texas and millions more are on their way.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 27, 2014

March 20, 2014

Here come the monarchs! Estela witnessed a dramatic departure last Thursday. Now, observers along the migration trail are waiting to report first arrivals.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 20, 2014

March 13, 2014

We’re waiting for news of the mass departure from Mexico and of the first migration sightings in the north. Monarchs at El Rosario Sanctuary are widely dispersed now, but several clusters remain.

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 13, 2014

March 6, 2014

There’s a flurry of activity as thirsty monarchs break out of their clusters in search of water. The journey north is about to begin!

Monarch Butterfly News:  March 6, 2014

February 27, 2014

As the end of the overwintering season rapidly approaches, important changes are taking place. Mating has begun and fat reserves are running low.

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 27, 2014

February 20, 2014

With migration set to begin within the month, people are rallying on behalf of the monarchs

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 20, 2014

February 13, 2014

Nearly 90% of this year’s monarch population occupies only 2 of the 12 overwintering sites. Explore monarch distribution in Mexico’s sanctuaries and consider the implications.

Monarch Butterfly News:  February 13, 2014

February 6, 2014

The number of monarchs in Mexico has plunged to a new low, with only 1.65 acres of forest covered with clustering butterflies.

Monarch Migration News:  February 6, 2014

The announcement arrived at 10 pm today: “They first monarchs are here! They were majestically flying over our town, not looking in the least affected by the very bad weather we have had in the last days.”  Estela Romero, Angangueo, Michocán, México

Monarch Migration News:  November 6, 2013

October 31, 2013

The first monarchs should reach the overwintering region any day. The arrival is tied to Mexican traditions, culture, and seasons.

Monarch Migration News:  October 31, 2013

October 24, 2013

The migration is crossing into Mexico now. Although it’s their first migration, monarchs follow routes previous monarchs have flown.

Monarch Migration News:  October 24, 2013

October 17, 2013

It’s peak migration in Texas, and migrants are still pouring down from the north. Can late-season monarchs make it to Mexico?

Monarch Migration News:  October 17, 2013

October 10, 2013

Long-awaited north winds swept the migration into Texas, and a late peak occurred at northern latitudes.

Monarch Migration News:  October 10, 2013

October 3, 2013

The migration made a clear push southward this week. Estela Romero says people in Mexico are eager for the monarchs’ arrival.

     Monarch Migration News: October 3, 2013 

September 26, 2013

According to Journey North, Monarch picked up noticeably during the past week, as north winds carried monarchs southward.  This week, take a look at the stopover sites monarchs use to rest and refuel:

Monarch Migration News: September 26, 2013

September 23, 2013

  • Monarch Premigration Migration – What is it?  Have you seen any?  They could be laying eggs in your yard today!   Click here for a fascinating article from Wild Ones.
  • Click here to link to A Way To’s article, A Precarious Time for Monarchs and Their Migration.

September 13, 2013

UK/LFUCG Arboretum Director Marcia Farris and Gcky President Joanna Kirby at the newly certified Monarch Waystation at the Arboretum

 Marcia Farris and Joanna

 Arboretum Monarch Waystation

Arboretum Monarch Waystation 2

Arboretum Monarch Waystation 3

September 9, 2013

Follow this link to an article about monarch butterflies. It was written by Lexington’s Wild Ones Chapter President’s son, Gabriel Popkin. He has done a great job of evoking a world made much poorer by the lack of this beautiful creature. However, as Gabriel tells us, if we keep planting milkweed, we can help. Let’s do it!

Report Monarch Sightings!

Did you know that you can report your sightings of monarch eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies?  This will allow your sightings to be part of one of the largest data bases recording sightings in North America – Journey North.  Go to

or just google “Journey North”.  You will be asked to select a password.  I recommend having Journey North remember your password for the future.  Then, just follow the directions to report your sightings.  You can go back later to look at them if you wish; and you can see your sightings represented on the United States map that tracks the migration.  Tip:  You don’t need to know your latitude and longitude as requested; they will figure it out for you.  It is, however, kind of fun to use their tool to figure it out for yourself.

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Waystations

If you plant it, they will come!

The Monarchs are here and they love the bright colors of zinnias and sunflowers as they float through the gardens of Kentucky, but they also  need their only host plant, Milkweed, to lay their eggs on.  Fall is ideal for planting and now many garden centers are offering discounts on their inventory.  If you have an existing butterfly garden, you may only need to plant Milkweed to be complete and certify your garden through, a non-profit group at the University of Kansas that tracks the migration and habitat of this declining beauty.  You, too, can have a Monarch Waystation with a good plan and desire to help.

Happy Butterflying!

If you plant it, they will come
If you plant it, they will come


IMG_1515 IMG_1532


Milkweed and Friends
Milkweed and Friends
Plant an assortment of annuals and perennials
Plant an assortment of annuals and perennials
Welcome to my garden
Welcome to my garden

Viceroy Butterfly

Butterfly 2.5N

Viceroy Butterfly

The Viceroy is pictured with the Goldenrod Kentucky’s state flower that is among the favorite foods of the Viceroy. The Viceroy’s markings, very similar to those of the Monarch butterfly were once thought to mimic those of the poisonous Monarch as a protection from predators. It is now known the two butterflies are equally toxic thus mutually increasing protection from birds.
The Garden Club of Kentucky commissioned well-known watercolorist Nellie Meadows to paint the Viceroy to promote the importance of the Viceroy and gain its acceptance as the State Butterfly. In 1990, the Viceroy did, indeed become our State Butterfly.
Show your support of the Viceroy through your purchase of the print.
The 22×26” print is $24.90. Call 859-987-6158 for shipping & postage information.
To purchase the Viceroy print, please send your check to: The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc., Garden Carriage House Catalogue, 616 Pleasant Street, Paris, KY 40361.
Make checks payable to: The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.

Viceroy Butterfly

Limenitis archippus

The Viceroy’s Latin and common names tell us where it can be found and of its ‘royal lineage’. “Limenitis”, Latin for marshes, indicates the Viceroy’s preferred habitat. The common name comes from its resemblance to both the Queen and Monarch butterflies. In royal hierarchy, the Viceroy is the next in line, hence its common name.
Viceroys can be found from Canada to Northern Mexico, Pacific to Atlantic in moist areas around lakes, swamps, thickets, wet meadows and rural areas. It is here that the female lays her eggs on willow, poplar and cottonwoods found in moist and edge of water locations.
The adults feed on manure, carrion, and nectar of the aster family while the caterpillars feed on catkins and leaves. The aster family includes our State Flower the Goldenrod.
Adult Viceroys mimic the color pattern of the Monarch pattern except for a black horizontal stripe across the bottom of its back wings. The undersides of its wings are similar to the top while the Monarch’s is much lighter. It is easy to differentiate the two butterflies in flight. As the Viceroy glides its wings are fully extended while the Monarch’s are at a distinct angle.
Caterpillars resemble bird droppings of brown to olive green with a white saddle-shape dorsal spot. There are three generations of caterpillars each year. The late summer generation caterpillars wrap themselves in leaves for winter protection and as additional means of camouflage.
Recent research indicates that the Viceroy is as poisonous as the Monarch giving each butterfly twice the protection from predators. This cross protection is known as a Mullerian mimic.

Follow by Email