Milkweed Waystation provides activity for students, food for Monarchs

| September 26, 2017

By Austin Cohea | Assistant Editor |

Misty Belmontez and a group of her students planted milkweed across the campus on Saturday Sept. 16.

“It was just fun, and I really needed something to do for the Saturday,” sophomore Bao Bui said, “I needed some community service hours, and I wanted to help.”  The gardeners planted in places like the bus circle, the courtyard, and Ms.Hinojosa’s room.

“I think it’ll bring another positive light,” Belmontez said “We’re expanding out and that we’re not only impacting kids here, but that we’re supporting a mission of the city, and that also of our country to help the Monarch butterflies.”

Milkweed is the main source of food for Monarch butterflies when they are in the larvae stage (caterpillar), however fully grown Monarchs can eat lots of things, including water, nectar, and juice from some fruits.

Misty Belmontez helps a middle schooler put Milkweed plant in the courtyard. Photo by Austin Cohea

The Monarch’s life cycle is only four to five weeks long, but it is a busy one. Butterflies have four life stages, egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

As a species, they migrate from Canada to Mexico, with a total of 2000 miles every year.

“We’re looking at middle to late October, into November.” Belmontez said.

The Monarch population, as well as the bee population has been on a decline, and they pollinated 90 percent of flowering plants. If those populations die off, the world lose much fruit from these plants.

“We need to realize that San Antonio is one of the few cities that are a Monarch Champion city, and that was put into effect by Mayor Taylor, ” Belmontez said.  “There are places all over the country that are trying to save the Monarchs, because we need them for pollination, and if they die, then we’re definitely gonna be negatively impacted. So anything we can do to help them on they’re journey, because what’s happening is there’s so much building going on that they’re losing their natural habitat and their food along with that.”

You can plant milkweed in your back yard (or your front yard) Seeds are available year round, but Spring and Summer months are preferable. You can buy them at Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, or your local garden shop.


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Junior Assistant Editor Photographer Planning to study Communications and Journalism after high school.

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