Along with many other species of wildlife, the majestic Monarch Butterfly has become less common as our once wildlife abundant estuary of the Meadowlands has been overtaken by "progress". (As of a 2014 estimate, the monarch population has declined some 90% since 1990, from approximately one billion butterflies to 35 million butterflies. www.nj.gov/dep/docs/monarch-guide.pdf) .
With this in mind, the girls from Girl Scouts of NNJ Troop 94454 wanted to do their part, Mackenzie Burke, Julia Dellapena, Abbie Oliver & Olivia Watowich began their quest by purchasing milkweed seeds, printing directions, packaging the seeds then giving them out at Keep Wood Ridge Beautiful Day & WR Town Day Festivities. Their mission is to involve the community to nurture the seeds into grown plants, plant them & hopefully encourage the Monarchs to lay their eggs, feast on the plant & once again make their summer home in large numbers here in New Jersey. This goal was mentioned to the Keep Wood-Ridge Beautiful committee, Co-Chaired by Council President Ezio Altamura and Councilman Ed Marino prompting member Angelo Urato to offer assistance.
A Surprise came this June, when 3 Dozen assorted varieties of Milkweed Plants were generously donated to attract butterflies by Don Torino, President of the Bergen County Audubon Society. ( PO Box 235 Paramus , NJ 07653-0235 )
to aid in the cause. The plants now flourishing, reside in a safe Garden at the Bianchi House, the girls will weed and anticipate photographing, while documenting the visiting wildlife, especially the Monarchs.
The Audubon Society has often offered milkweed plants to the community. The girls are so grateful Wood-Ridge is the recipient of the plant donation and a lovely plaque marking the Monarch way station. The donation provided them the opportunity to be one small change to making a big difference. -Sandra O'Byrne
Please Consider Supporting the Bergen County Audubon Society-"Our mission is to promote and protect wildlife in its natural habitat by providing opportunities for observation and conservation".