Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center is proud to welcome guests of all kinds to our campus to enjoy the natural beauty of our rolling prairie and woods. But recently, there has been extra excitement about one type of guest that has made its way to our grounds.
The monarch butterfly.
For the past three years, Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center has been a certified Monarch Waystation Site. This means that we are one of the tens of thousands of designated locations that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.
According to MonarchWatch.org, each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to Mexico and California where they wait out the winter. But in recent years, the monarch migration has been threatened by habitat loss.
Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to reproduce the next generation that migrates each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey south.
Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center is committed to extending hospitality to all who come here – including the creatures who visit. By serving as a Monarch Waystation, we are working to offset the loss of milkweeds and nectar sources for monarchs. This is just one way we live out our commitment of caring for this part of creation while ensuring visitors will be able to enjoy the beauty of this place for years to come.
The work to maintain the milkweed and nectar plants has paid off. Site Director & Naturalist Dan Kahl has noted the largest monarch presence in many years at the retreat center this spring and summer season.
If you are interested in creating or certifying your own Monarch Waystation, visit MonarchWatch.org. Join us in this commitment to monarch conservation!