The Innovation Network is working with other BCC student-led organizations to create a monarch waystation and meditation garden, providing campus-wide educational experiences while offering students a place to relax and enjoy the campus's beauty. The garden creates a monarch habitat that would be certified and protected by Monarch Watch, a non-profit education, conservation, and research program based at the University of Kansas. It offers an educational space where students can learn about the importance of pollination and native plants and the medicinal value of herbs such as sage, echinacea, rosemary, and lavender and creates a quiet place for students to breathe, meditate, and collect their thoughts.
According to the US Forest Service, the monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates. Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when to travel south for the winter. Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home. To learn more about monarch migration, please visit the US Forest Service.
Monarch waystations are garden and meadow-like areas with the necessary feeding and breeding plants for monarchs to travel great distances and produce future generations.
Monarch Watch, a nonprofit education, conservation, and research program, provides information about monarch butterflies' biology and migration. They research monarch migration and monarch population dynamics seeking to conserve the monarch migration. In addition, Monarch Watch offers guidelines for creating monarch habitats.
The Innovation Network at Brookdale Community College supports this unique monarch migration phenomenon and is pursuing official certification as a monarch waystation. For more information about Monarch Watch and waystation certification, check out Monarch Watch at www.monarchwatch.org.