|A monarch on milkweed.|
To help save monarchs, the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale is distributing free native milkweed seeds through the end of June, along with butterfly gardening and conservation tips.
Visitors at Hidden Oaks in early June will be able to observe monarch caterpillars start their metamorphosis into butterflies. In September, naturalists at Hidden Oaks will begin tagging monarchs so conservationists will be able to track their progress as they migrate between the eastern United States and the mountains of central Mexico.
Local residents can create a monarch waystation in a sunny spot with 10 milkweed plants and four other plants that provide nectar for adult monarchs.
“To assure a future for monarchs, conservation and restoration of milkweeds has to become a national priority,” says Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch.