“Wild for Monarchs” Partnership




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.



The Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones Monarch Committee – led by Ilse Gebhard – had another busy season, posting several accomplishments.

1. 5 new waystations were registered, with at least 3 more in preparation or partial planting stage. 
2. All 10 of last year’s new waystations have stewards.
3. 10 Monarch Larva Monitoring Project sites in Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Allegan and Barry counties are being monitored, 2 of them new this year. 1 training workshop.
4. Do-Dah parade – 5 KAWO members distributed 400 each of milkweed seed packets and monarch bookmarks. Invited back by Master Gardeners for next year.
5. 6 presentations
6. 5 booths, including KAWO plant sale and plant exchange, with at least 4 more planned.
7. Milkweed and native nectar plants distributed to 23 individuals or groups plus at 10 events.
8. A Barry County Monarch Team was formed.  More involvement with Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.
9. Planting and/or maintenance sessions: 9
10. Consulting sessions: 17
11. Provided 250 milkweed seed packets for distribution to 2 group events by others.



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.