The Monarch Alliance News

September 2018 Newsletter

The Migration:  September is here and the fall migration is about to start.  Since August 15, newly eclosing monarchs were in sexual diapause, putting off reproduction until next spring.  Some monarchs that eclosed prior to mid-August, were still depositing their eggs, but we are near or at the end of that generation.


This is probably the fourth generation of monarchs, starting with those that eclosed in Texas and Oklahoma in May of this year.


So, what happens next?  The migration passes through our area in September, probably beginning the second week. The third week is the peak week in our region.  The migration, according to Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch, passes through our region when the angle of the sun is between 57 and 47 degrees at noon.  Each degree represents about three days. Monarchs in our area that are now in sexual diapause, will join the migration as it passes through our area.


The migration will last until most of the monarchs reach the small area of sanctuaries – about 60 miles square -  in Mexico by the end of the first week in December.


Our Fall Milkweed and Native Plant Sale:  I hope you all come and buy plants at our fall plant sale and fund raiser.  Right now, all of our profits are plowed back to our monarch waystation grant program.  


We should have a good variety of milkweed and native plants for you September 22, from

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  And you will get a great price from us.  Please tell your friends.


Our Fall Projects:  This fall, we will be planting over 500 native plants at Bester Elementary School, over 600 at the Thomas Kennedy Memorial Park and Plaza, and over 200 at the Pleasant Valley County Park.  


I want to put out a call for volunteer planters and those of you that want to help maintain these gardens:


  • Planting at the Thomas Kennedy Memorial Park and Plaza will be Tuesday, October 2 at 8:30 a.m.  

  • Planting at Bester Elementary School will be Sunday, October 7 at 8:30 a.m.

  • Planting at Pleasant Valley County Park is still undetermined.


Fall Monarch Waystation Grant Application:  This fall, we had only one grant applicant, from the Fountain Rock Park and Nature Center, in Frederick County.


The TMA Board of Directors decided to give out grants on an annual basis, beginning with the spring grant program.  In other words, we will not have a fall grant program after this year.


Progress in Expanding into PVAS Country in WV and into Frederick County:  We are making some headway in expanding into PVAS country in WV and into Frederick County.  Joette Borzik is our WV rep. She has been doing programs at the Briggs Animal Adoption Center and the Claymont Mansion.  She has scheduled tagging events at these sites for this month. Master Naturalist, Tess Dew is working with Joette and had a TMA booth at Tomato Fest.  Jim Jenkins has a Junior Monarch Alliance program at North Jefferson Elementary School, and I did a monarch presentation and tagging event at Steamboat Run in Shepherdstown a few weeks ago at the request of Mike Sullivan, the PVAS VP.


In Frederick County, we gave out monarch waystation grants to Hood College and Catoctin Creek Nature Center.  Ann Payne and Joyce Erwin are coordinating with the nature center for a monarch program and tagging event later this month.  I have given talks at the Frederick County Master Gardeners and will be doing a program in November for “Green Drinks.”


This is not everything we do, but some of the things we are doing.  We need more volunteers in Frederick county and in WV. Contact Ann Payne, 304-692-3180, or, for Frederick County and Joette Borzik, 240-440-4221, or, for WV.


Please check out our tagging events for Monarch Discovery Days.




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