UWM Monarch Conservancy

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recognized the multi-generational migration of the Monarch Butterfly as a threatened biological phenomenon. Marek Landscaping, LLC has worked with protection groups and the UW-Milwaukee Field Station for developing and implementing a land management plan for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Protection Area on the Milwaukee County Grounds in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Our work started in 2010 with GIS mapping of invasives species, site features, and butterfly habitat and assisted with developing the land management plan and seed lists with a large group of stakeholders, including Milwaukee County and the UW Milwaukee Field Station. In 2011, we began buckthorn removals and root cutting. In 2012, we began implementing the land management plan and are continuing its implementation in 2013. The goal of these efforts is to protect and expand critical habitat to support the congregation and roosting of migrating Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus).

Work performed in 2012 included control measures targeting Common Buckthorn, Eurasian Honeysuckle and Garlic Mustard in a 2.1 acre Oak Grove stand. Mowings were also performed with follow-up hand cutting to prevent seed set of Cut-leaved Teasel in an area covering over 15 acres. Prevention of seed set of Cut-leaved teasel will facilitate future restoration of the site and prevent the spread of this invasive species into the core Monarch Butterfly Habitat Protection Area. Work was also performed to prepare two prairie establishment sites for seeding in spring of 2013. A native prairie seed mixture including a diverse variety of perennial wildflowers will provide dependable nectar sources for Monarch Butterflies as they gather for their 3,000 mile migration.