Monarch butterflies used to be regular visitors at Windward Beach, but, over time, developments in the area caused a reduction in the natural vegetation that had attracted them. Now, as part of an Eagle Scout project, native vegetation is being restored with the hope of helping to attract the monarch butterflies again.
The Brick Shorebeat shared the story of Scout Liam B., who is working with a local environmental consultant to help restore the vegetation and bring back the butterflies.
Monarch populations have been declining in recent years. According to Monarch Watch, a non-profit organization that monitors monarch populations, there are a number of likely causes contributing to the decline in population of the monarch butterflies. Among those possible causes is the reduction in vegetation that serves as summer breeding ground in the United States.
On its site, Monarch Watch includes the following statement, “We are losing 6,000 acres of potential monarch/pollinator habitat a day in the United Stated due to development (2.2 million acres per year). In all, we estimate the loss of habitat to be 147 million acres since Monarch Watch was started in 1992 – an area 4 times the state of Illinois.”
Liam B. wanted to do something to help increase the likelihood that monarch butterflies would return to his community.
For his Eagle Scout, Liam will be working with Scouts and other volunteers to place native plants in a strategic location in the community. The plants will be be designed specifically to attract the monarch butterflies by providing habitat and pollination opportunities.
“I just want to thank everybody for allowing me to do this for myself, and for the butterfly population, so it can make a comeback,” he said. “Everybody thinks monarch butterflies are good – they’re beautiful, they’re great, so why not have more of them?”
For more information on how Scouts like Liam work to make their communities better, see the Baylor University Study “Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge.”