Wild Ones for Monarchs




Ilse Gebhard, KAWO Monarch Committee

Karen Meabord has been working very hard to have the Monarch designated as the State of Michigan’s official insect.  A bill is being drafted in the House.  In order to get this passed, we need to get as many people as possible to show they are in favor of it.

The first thing you can do to help is sign a petition to gather support for this: Say Yes Michigan to the Monarch as our Official  State Insect!  Please share the link with your Michigan friends.

Second, this summer there will be a rally at the State Capital on Tuesday, August 9, as 2 p.m.  Please attend.

And last but not least, there is a public Facebook page for the rally that anyone can view, and if you have a Facebook account, you can click “going”: Say Yes to Michigan!   Even if you can’t make it, please click “going'” as it will show Michigan lawmakers that you support the Monarch butterfly as our state insect.  Please invite your Michigan friends to view and click as well, and share on your Facebook page.





The Kalamazoo Gazette published an article and video about Wild Ones’ partnership with Monarch Joint Venture and Bring Back the Monarchs of Monarch Watch. Enjoy the (mostly accurate) interview with Ilse Gebhard, one of KAWO’s founding members and a real Monarch expert.




Invite a Monarch to Lunch – Plant a Milkweed

Sunday May 8, 2016 1:30 p.m.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 North Rose St, Kalamazoo

Presenter: Ilse Gebhard

Learn about the life cycle of monarch butterflies, their habitat requirements, and their remarkable annual migration to Mexico, as well as the threat to their survival and what we can do to help. Informative handouts and milkweed seed packets will be available. Milkweed seedlings may also be available.


Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Workshop

Thursday, May 19, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, 701 West Cloverdale Rd, Hastings

Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist Ilse Gebhard will train participants to monitor monarch populations, as well as share ways to improve local habitats for monarchs and participate in the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP). MLMP is a cooperative study of monarch egg and larva densities in North America that helps determine the impact of Monarch Waystations. Participating community members choose sites with milkweed and gather data once a week during the monarch breeding season to aid scientists in international efforts to conserve and understand monarchs and their annual migration. This program will include a trip outside to observe milkweeds found at the Institute and monarch caterpillars.

Pre-registration is required:



Monarch Larva Monitoring Project Workshop

Wednesday, May 25, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, M-43 and County Rd 652 (Fish Hatchery Rd)

Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist Ilse Gebhard will train volunteers to collect data for the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP), a Citizen Science project that tracks monarch populations during the summer breeding season. Milkweed patches are checked and reported weekly for the presence of monarch eggs or larvae. Participants may either choose their own site to monitor or help with already established sites.

The workshop is free but pre-registration is required:




Make a financial donation to support purchase of plug trays, growing media, or plants. Any amount welcome! Write checks to Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones (KAWO) with a notation for               Monarch Committee in the memo line;

Grow milkweed plants to share with family and friends and to give away at events like plant exchanges. Seeds and instructions available at monthly meetings, or contact Ilse Gebhard                 (gebhard.ilse@gmail.com);

Join the Monarch Committee or express an interest in being contacted for tasks; please let Ilse Gebhard know. Sometime this winter we’ll need help transplanting seedlings from seed flats to plug flats (an excellent opportunity to see how native plants are grown in a greenhouse setting);

Plant milkweed in your yard and register it as a Monarch Watch Waystation—if you haven’t, this would be a great time. Seeds and information available at meetings, or go to                               www.monarchwatch.org;

Motivate non-members to plant milkweed on their properties, or share how-to ideas. Ilse Gebhard has a PowerPoint presentation – if you belong to any group looking for programs, please let Ilse know.