Centre dedicates campus Monarch Way Station

Posted by Centre News in News 19 May 2014

Monarch Waystation DedicationA lovely and utilitarian feature was added to Centre’s campus on May 16 with the dedication of the Monarch Waystation near Young Hall (pictured above).

Becky Barefield ’16, a biology major from Houston, Texas, spearheaded this biology department project in partnership with the national Monarch Way125618 Station project to help restore Monarch butterfly populations. Monarchs need habitat on their expansive migration routes, but this habitat is disappearing and devastating populations. The garden was planted to give them a home on their journey and to help to restore these lost populations.

According to the national organization Monarch Watch, Monarch Waystations provide resources necessary for Monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers, these fall migratory butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to overwintering grounds in Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all Monarch and butterfly populations around the world.

“Linda [Porter] approached me about starting a waystation on campus,” Barefield says. “I was drawn to the project because I’ve always had a passion for nature, and when I was a little girl my mom was sure to foster those feelings. She did this by planting milkweed in our yard and showing us the metamorphosis process of Monarchs. Mom was always sure to point out the beauty of their complex development processes.

“I guess that message stayed with me,” she continues. “I was so excited to be presented with the opportunity to help save their species — and to include Centre in that, too.”

by Cindy Long