Working together to save the monarch butterfly

How backyard gardeners can create way stations to help America’s most beautiful butterfly.

Monarchs can be attracted to backyard gardens with some thoughtful plantings. (Photo: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren/flickr)

A botanical garden in the most unlikely of places is working to solve the plight of the monarch butterfly. And you can help.
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert is on a mission to show home gardeners — no matter where they live — how they can create way stations to help save this iconic American butterfly. Monarch butterflies, perhaps the most recognizable butterflies in the U.S. because of their distinctive orange and black markings, have declined so drastically that in August the Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety filed a request asking that monarchs and their remaining habitat be protected under the Endangered Species Act. This week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it would investigate the need for protected status.