The Monarch Alliance News

October 2017 Newsletter

THE MIGRATION:  The monarch migration continues southward, with the leading edges having reached Oklahoma and northern Texas in the Central Flyway and North Carolina in the Eastern Flyway.  You can look at the Peak Migration Map of Journey North to see the progress of the migration. The migration began in the breeding area of southern Canada in late August and progressed southward as the days grew shorter. Most monarchs passed through our area during September and some will continue to pass through in the first weeks of October.  The leading edge will reach the sanctuaries around the beginning of November and in mid-December, the WWF and its Mexican counterparts will begin the process of taking the annual census.


TAGGING MONARCHS:  TMA held tagging events in two Hagerstown’s parks and on three occasions in September at the Antietam National Battlefield.  Our one event in Frederick County had to be cancelled because of weather.  In West Virginia, we held tagging events at Stauffer’s Marsh Nature Preserve, Briggs Animal Adoption Center and Cool Spring Nature Preserve.  We also tagged butterflies with the Junior Monarch Alliance at North Jefferson Elementary School. Discovery Station tagged monarchs all during September. Tagging events are always popular events, bringing in new members.  Our September 23 event at the Battlefield made the September 2 Herald Mail.  See the online version here.  


FUNDRAISING EFFORTS:  We raised over $7500 this year from our two plant sales at Sunny Meadows Garden Center and our fund raiser for Fort Frederick State Park on the Crowd Rise internet site. The plant sales continue to be very popular and provide TMA with both funds and new members. We will allocate $3000 to our Grant Committee for Monarch Waystations that have an educational focus, such as through schools, nature centers, parks, scouts and the like. We spent $1125 at Sunny Meadows for the Fort Frederick State Park project and will buy another 500 plants for $1125 to install in the spring, for a total expenditure on Fort Frederick of $2250.  


GRANT COMMITTEE: Our Grant Committee is up and running. You can see the information on our website, at  Tracy McCleaf will be in charge of the committee.  Our Grant Committee has representatives from Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland and from the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.


PROJECTS ON THE DRAWING BOARDS: In addition to projects that will get funded through the Grant Committee, TMA has several other projects lined up for which our funds might be used:


  • C&O Canal at Cushwa Basin- Ann Aldrich and I will be visiting the site on October 5and developing a plant list to send to the C&O Canal.

  • JMA Monarch Project at North Jefferson Elementary School-  This will be a large site, 80 X 50 feet and may require funds in addition to a possible grant. We are working closely with Jim Jenkins, the Science Teacher and the Junior Monarch Alliance members (last count 51 students) on the design.  He has a commitment from the PTA for $1000.

  • Shepherd University Farm- SU intends to create a 5 acre solar array at the farm. We will be working with SU on inter-planting the array with monarch friendly warm season grasses and forbs. These projects are receiving high priority nationally as part of the “all-hands-on-deck” approach to monarch conservation. 

  • Display at Fort Frederick State Park- We could put a monarch rearing cage and other displays and handout material at the park, similar to what is at Discovery Station.  We have had preliminary discussions with Bob Study, the Assistant Manager and with the Nature Center at the park.

  • See additional possible projects in our September 2017 newsletter.


FUTURE PLANS: Our organization is growing.  We have a large group of volunteers that help with maintenance of Kiwanis Park and with planting new waystations. We also created a seven-man Grant Committee. We could use a Coordinator of Volunteers if someone were interested in volunteering for that position. There are other activities that could use help, including a Coordinator of the monarch waystation program if someone had an interest in fostering butterfly gardens.  If you are interested in helping, you can contact me at




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