Now that Spring has arrived and the plants are starting to awaken at the Stage Nature Center, so have the plans to construct a Monarch Butterfly Way Station on the grounds of the Stage Nature Center in Troy.
Planning began in 2015 for the way station and since then, fundraising efforts and volunteer engagement for the project have at Stage Nature Center will be one of only a few that are public and registered in the area. The way station planning team has been busy getting the planning efforts off the ground and are working with the City of Troy to bring the project to life.
Project lead Nicole Fleming has been busy coordinating the planning efforts which include:
• Plotting the area on the southwest side of the nature center interpretive building with flags so the City of Troy can prepare the site for planting.
• Seeking the assistance of volunteers and local scout troops to assist in the planning and preparation of the area.
• Engaging volunteers to install edging, plant flowering perennials, milkweed seeds, transplant milkweed and laying woodchips.
• Creating a rendering of the area complete with a planting plan that will be approved by the Board of Directors.
• Fundraising for the cost of materials required for the way station.
A fundraising campaign is now underway to raise the $500 that will be required for the materials necessary for the Monarch Way Station. The materials that are needed are mulch, wood chips, pavers, milkweed plants and flowering perennials. The Troy Nature Society has set up a go fund me page to help collect funds for the project. (https://www.gofundme.com/
Stage Nature Center has partnered with Girl Scouts troop #75160 on this project. Theyt are working towards their Silver Award which is the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn and the highest a Cadette (middle school) Girl Scout can achieve. This Award requires the girls to complete a Cadette Journey which means each Girl Scout chooses a topic that she cares about, then does something to make a difference on that subject. Once the journey is completed, girls must complete a 50-hour service project that leaves a lasting impact on the community.
They have chosen Stage Nature Center’s Monarch Way Station garden as the focus of their project. Accompanied by one of their troop leaders Christal Renaud, the Girl Scouts visited the Stage Nature Center on March 20th to begin their work towards their Silver Award by plotting and measuring out the space where the Monarch Way Station will be planted.
The Scout troop team is made up of Emma Sketch (Baker MS), Tanya Endres (Larson MS), Allison Rosinski (Oakland Steiner School) and Isabella Sulak (Larson MS) with guidance from their Troop leaders, Claudia Endres, MIchelle Goodhew and Christal Renaud, and this team will work on the project from start to finish. They have already worked with Monarch Way Station project leader Nicole Fleming on the design and plant selection. As the project progresses, they will be installing plants, edging, laying mulch, and will follow up with getting the garden plants labeled so the way station will also become a teaching garden.
In addition, two other Girl Scouts from Troop #75160, Gabrielle Mason and Hannah Podsiadlik (both from Larson Middle School) are working on their own Silver Award project that ties into the Monarch way station by building a bench that will be placed in the butterfly garden so visitors will have a place to sit and observe the Monarchs.
Monarch waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. One can think of this as a “rest stop” for the Monarch Butterfly’s on their migration journey.
Volunteer or donate to the project by visiting the Stage Nature Center website at www.stagenaturecenter.org.