Conserving Monarch Habitat: The Vermont – Mexico Connection

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:47 pm

Jose Luis Alvarez has devoted his life to conserving habitat for the Monarch butterfly
Jose Luis Alvarez has devoted his life to conserving monarch habitat in Mexico.  He’s traveling to Vermont this summer to help us conserve the butterfly’s habitat here in New England.

I’m super excited today because our friend Jose Luis Alvarez is coming to visit Vermont this fall to collaborate with us on a project to help save the Monarch butterfly.  Jose Luis is a silviculturist in Mexico who has devoted his life to restoring the forested winter habitat of the Monarch.  Last month I traveled to Michoacan, Mexico to meet Jose Luis & see his work. I love Monarchs & we’ve been conserving their summer habit here in Vermont for many years so I thought maybe we should collaborate and get some Vermont-Mexico synergy going!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Monarch Butterflies Need Your Help, Here’s What You Can Do

Last updated on May 7th, 2018 at 02:42 pm

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed

Why is it important to create habitat for Monarchs?

  • Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed, as Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed
  • Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch butterflies will lay their eggs
  • Shifting priorities in land management has resulted in the loss of much milkweed from the landscape
  • Planting milkweed supports monarch populations, and their incredible migration journey (Did you know–Monarch butterflies travel up to 3,000 miles each fall to their wintering site in central Mexico?)
  • In 2004,  550 million Monarchs completed the winter migration, while in 2013 only 33 million arrived
  • Much of this can be attributed to illegal foresting, but an even worse culprit is the large-scale use of herbicides that destroy milkweed
Monarch Butterflies Survive on Milkweed
Nina & Peggy are tricking our milkweed seeds into thinking they’ve been through winter. “Cold stratification” is important for good germination and growth.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Scientists, conservationists, and butterfly enthusiasts around the world are encouraging people to grow milkweed in their own yards and gardens
  • Contact your town representatives and discuss adding milkweed to your local community garden, or in unoccupied land space
  • Share blogs & articles about Monarch butterflies and milkweed online
  • Sign a petition to protect Monarch butterflies from deadly herbicides


Gathering Milkweed For Monarch Butterflies | Vernon, VT

Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies | Vernon, Vermont
Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies | Vernon, Vermont

Getting started with your milkweed garden:

  • Contact the Monarch Watch Seed Bank where you can donate or request seeds.
  • When buying seeds, always make sure they are Monarch friendly. Believe it or not, unsuspecting people have killed off butterflies trying to plant Milkweed covered in herbicides
  • Gather seeds from nearby Milkweed gardens
  • Directions for planting milkweed seed can be found at LiveMonarch.com.
  • Together and with a little help from Mother Nature we can bring back the Monarchs!
  • Remember to use the hashtag #MonarchsVT to share your progress with us!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.