Butterflies are free to fly
If all goes as planned, Boyd County Public Library will soon be a regular pit stop on the route of the majestic Monarch butterflies as they travel from Canada to Mexico, and back.
Work began in August on a Monarch Waystation, just outside the Main Branch in Ashland, and adjacent to Central Park and Crabbe Elementary. The site was chosen because of the large amount of sun it receives, making it ideal for butterfly travelers.
Members of the Southern Hills Garden Club have planted dozens of plants that attract butterflies, for both feeding and laying eggs. Kim Jenkins of Sweetbay Landscaping laid out the garden, and collected all the plants. BCPL is paying about $1,000 to cover the cost of the garden.
Some of the plants have proven hard to find – like the common milkweed. It actually is a weed, but gardeners plant it specifically to attract butterflies. The problem is that so many groups in Kentucky and nationwide are currently installing Monarch waystations in their communities, thanks to a push by MonarchWatch.
“The president of the Kentucky State Garden Club brought this to our attention,” said Jerri Rupert, a member of the Southern Hills group in Ashland. “There are now about 50 of these in the state.” The one at BCPL is the first waystation in Boyd County.
There are still more than a dozen plants to go in the ground, in addition to the common milkweed. There are also plans for signs that will explain the project and all the plants, as well as a directional sign (Canada this way; Mexico that way) for the butterflies. There will be programs at the library in the future to explain the project, and provide milkweed to individuals who would like to plant their own. Students from Crabbe Elementary will also visit the waystation frequently as part of their curriculum.