If you signed the Monarch Manifesto, thank you. You're part of an enthusiastic community of butterfly lovers — more than 10,000 strong — who are helping the monarch butterfly. (If you haven't please take a minute to do so!)
You also committed to encouraging at least one school, company, institution or faith group in your neighbourhood to grow butterfly-friendly flowers — ideally, plant a butterfly garden next spring!
To make this task easier, below is a sample letter you can adapt. Click here to download a word document version of the same letter.
[Insert your name, address, email and phone number]
[Insert institution name and address]
Re: Please help bring monarchs butterflies back from the brink
Dear [insert name],
Have you noticed there aren't as many monarch butterflies as there used to be? I remember seeing them in [insert community name] each summer. But monarch numbers have declined by 95 per cent in the past couple decades due to loss of the habitat and milkweed plants they need to survive. The good news: You can help bring monarchs back!
I live in the neighbourhood and was wondering if [insert name of school, faith group, business or institution] might be interested in helping monarchs and other butterflies by planting a butterfly garden on your property.
What's a butterfly garden? Butterfly gardens feature native flowering plants like brown-eyed Susans, asters, milkweed and coneflowers — plants adapted to our local climate, so they're better able to handle drought and storms and will ultimately require less maintenance and watering than non-native plants. Most importantly, local butterflies prefer these flowers for food and shelter.
Got milkweed? Milkweed is the only plant monarch moms use to lay their eggs and the monarch caterpillars' main source of food. That's why the David Suzuki Foundation and many other groups are encouraging us all to plant more milkweed.
How can you help? Go to www.davidsuzuki.org for resources on how to create a butterfly garden. If a garden is too ambitious, consider adding milkweed and other butterfly-friendly plants to your existing [gardens/planters/landscaping] next spring.
Thanks for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
[Insert your name]
P.S. Please count on me to help get others in our neighbourhood interested in [insert name of institution]'s butterfly garden, by providing materials and/or volunteer support to help make it happen.