Engage the Community
Create seed packets with your church name on them
Your youth group can make custom seed packets using our free template. Fill with native milkweed seeds, either purchased in bulk or collected from your parishioners. Share the free seed packets in your church and distribute them in the community. Remember to store seeds in a cool, dry place until you are ready to give them away. A fourth seed packet for swamp milkweed coming soon.
Find which milkweed plants are native to your area on the BONAP North American Plant Atlas
Milkweed is the sole source of food for the monarch caterpillar. Many species of milkweed are native to the United States and used to be a common sight in fields and meadows. The disappearance of milkweed from our landscape is one of the primary reasons for the rapid reduction in the number of monarchs. To help the monarch butterfly it is urgent to provide milkweed as a host plant for their caterpillars.
Find native milkweed vendors in your area on the Xerces Society website
This comprehensive directory of milkweed seed vendors will help you locate milkweed seeds responsibly collected in your region, allowing you to fill your custom made packets with local native seed.
Collect your own seeds
Find members of your congregation who have milkweed plants on their property and ask them to donate the ripe seed pods in the fall. Recruit your youth group to separate the seeds from the floss. A spectacularly messy project that your youth will enjoy. Remember that seeds should be stored in the refrigerator or another cool, dry place. Watch the Mr. Lund Science video on Collecting Milkweed Seeds.
Grow your own milkweed
Recruit families to grow milkweed plants from seed during the spring. Host a butterfly conservation event a few months later and give the plants away free to the community or sell them as a fundraiser. Below are two great links with instructions for growing milkweed. Be sure to use seeds from your own region. If you do not know of a local source, see the link to the Xerces website above.
Share the Excitement
Help your youth group to create a display, an information center or a creative video to share their enthusiasm about monarch conservation.
Thanks to the efforts of the Pollinator Partnership, gorgeous color brochures about Monarch conservation are available to you free online.
Celebrate your success with the community!
Sponsor a butterfly gardening class for the community. Distribute free seed packets or free milkweed plants. Give a tour of your completed monarch waystation. Make a video for YouTube. Celebrate! See the link below for some excellent YouTube videos made by people just like you.
Many parks, zoos and nature preserves need volunteers to sustain their conservation efforts. Consider participating in an event during National Pollinator Week, an annual event celebrated all over the world in the last full week in June. Visit the Pollinator Partnership to learn more.