Today at the Landings: 73 °F

Audubon Aids Monarch Migration

Courtesy of Skidaway Audubon

Skidaway Island is rolling out the welcome mat for some very special visitors – migrating monarchs – and no, it’s not Harry and Meghan.

Skidaway Audubon began planting milkweed on the island in early May, to ultimately form an island-wide Monarch Butterfly Trail. The effort is part of a nationwide initiative to bring the orange and black butterflies back from the brink of extinction.

In the last 20 years, nearly 90 percent of the world’s Monarchs have disappeared due mainly to habitat loss. Fortunately, Georgia is perfectly poised to help reverse that downward trend. The butterfly’s migratory path crosses directly over our state, and as they fly north from Mexico, Monarchs lay their eggs nearly exclusively on milkweed.

Working in partnership with The Landings Club, Skidaway Audubon has begun planting milkweed and other plants that attract pollinators in out-of-play areas along the Palmetto golf course. Skidaway Audubon Monarch Butterfly Trail Coordinator Betsey Andersen and Palmetto Superintendent Philip Soukoup initiated the first part of the trail, planting milkweed, salvia, and lantana along three areas of the course.

Through a partnership with The Landings Association, butterfly-friendly plants also will be installed in common areas of The Landings. Skidaway Audubon plans to partner with the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of Georgia to encourage residents to plant milkweed and increase pollinator habitat within their gardens to help restore pollinator populations that are essential to food production and to the environment.

To help fund these initiatives, Skidaway Audubon had planned a golf tournament. However, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19. Forty-six locally crafted wildlife-themed yard art pieces that were to be part of the tournament festivities are now the centerpiece of an online auction that kicks off on May 18 at 10 a.m. and ends May 24 at 5 p.m.

To become a Skidaway Audubon member or supporter, or to view the colorful yard art to be auctioned online, visit  www.skidawayaudubon.org and help return the monarch, the King of the Butterflies, to the Coastal Empire.

Welcome Monarchs! This signage is being installed on the initial segment of the Monarch Butterfly Trail on Skidaway Island.