Greybull Recreation District – Monarch Butterfly Garden Habitat
Wyoming Youth for Natural Resources Fund (WYNR)

This story is from our spring 2022 newsletter. See the full newsletter here!

Roller-skating happened on Thursday nights over the summer at the Greybull Recreation Center. Youth would skate up to the front counter, eager to see their growth and ask, “Where are the caterpillars?”

They were tiny, about the size of a grain of rice. Kids looked forward to seeing the caterpillars grow. At first, the kids would need a magnifying glass to view them. Eventually they would turn into monarch butterflies.

“The caterpillars got here the first week of July. They didn’t turn into butterflies until early August,” says Heather Howe, Director of the Greybull Recreation District.

A grant from the Wyoming Wildlife Foundation made the Monarch Butterfly Garden Habitat Project possible.

“I attended the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance Conference and there was a Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program (MLMP) session. It taught us how to track monarchs in Wyoming, I really
wanted to do that for the kids,” says Heather. “But we needed to be able to monitor them differently in our area.”

Heather asked the program leaders of MLMP if she could build a habitat that was a little safer for youth to participate. The Monarch Larvae Monitoring Program thought it was a great idea.

“Where milkweed grows around here it’s not child friendly; there are ditches, fields, roads and maybe snakes,” says Heather. “I wanted to incorporate this project into our programming and have it not be dangerous.”

Because of thoughtful donors like you, Heather was able to purchase supplies to make raised garden bed habitats for monarchs. Youth will get to help track them and see them thrive in the future.

“Now we have a ton of milkweed in our gardens for the caterpillars. There’s a lot of plants for them back there,” says Heather. “We have supplies in storage, seeds for seed bombs, butterfly house kits, and butterfly magazines for kids to use again and again.”