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Friends of the Monarch Trail-Year in Review-2016:


Winter has come to the Monarch Trail, softening the landscape with the first snowfall of the season - a perfect time to offer thanks and to reflect on the accomplishments of 2016.  We feel grateful and blessed to say that The Friends of the Monarch Trail have had an exceptional year.
 
The year’s highlights began in April with our Annual Fund Raiser at Bridgetowne Gallery.  Sales from that event’s Silent Auction helped lay the groundwork for additional funds from two grants: The Fund for Lake Michigan and MMSD’s Green Infrastructure Grant.  With that boost, we contracted with Marek Landscaping to do intensive restoration as well as comprehensive invasive species control on the western side of the Monarch Trail, which is owned by Wis DOT.  This will add approximately 14 acres to the monarch site. We were extremely honored to be awarded the two grants!
 
Our Annual Plant Sale was also a tremendous success: We sold over 1000 plants!  And our July “Restoration Party” inspired 50 volunteers to “roll up their sleeves” and assist in planting 2500 plants—including a diverse assortment of milkweed species, as well as a variety of native perennials- on an old road bed that had been graded and prepared for these plants.



Educational highlights of the year included:
* Earth Day presentation at the Elm Grove Library
* “Follow the Monarchs” display at the Wauwatosa Public Library
* Guided tours of the trail to Milwaukee Art Museum Garden Club,

Master Gardeners Pollinator Group and the

“Walking in the Woods” Senior Group from Clement Manor Center for Enrichment
* And as usual, we participated in Wehr Nature Center’s Annual “Bug Day”,

 an event we look forward to each year!

 
A major monarch-supporting step forward was being invited to give a presentation and guided tour to the Integrated Pest Management Central Region group.  They are funded by the US Department of Agriculture and are interested in efforts to protect the Monarch Butterfly.  This was an honor and it gets to the very heart of the plight of the Monarch’s loss of habitat. www.ncipmc.org


 
The Annual Migration Celebration was another successful event with educational information, guided tours and a beautiful afternoon as well!
 
Another highlight—The Friends of the Monarch Trail received the MMSD Green Luminary Award in August!  Check it out- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miaYjhUMnK8
 
This year’s migration, although still smaller than in the early years, was a beautiful indication that we are on the right track and our efforts are beginning to pay off.  In five different roost


areas, the peak number of Monarchs gathered on the trail was 650 on September 17th.
It was exciting to see the expression on the faces of those who were witnessing this phenomenon for the first time.


 
The end of the season was topped off by a boatload of milkweed pods cleaned and processed at our “Milkweed Seed and Fluff Party” for distribution and planting! Hawks Landscape donated a sizable Hackberry Tree that will adorn the hillside by the kiosk.
We also had an Eagle Scout Project help us this year: Jack Wanner led fellow troop members, family and friends in planting 1,200 native milkweed plants and perennials in a wetland area formerly covered with invasive grasses and weeds.
 
The Friends of the Monarch Trail thanks everyone who continues to contribute their time, dollars, talent and passion for the Monarchs!  We are planning next years’ efforts and will keep the momentum going until we have every possible inch of land covered with supportive plants and native habitat!
 
As the Holidays calm to a close with family and friends, consider making a donation to the Monarch Trail knowing your donation will continue this important effort.
Donations can be made to: Park People of Milwaukee County, 1845 N. Farwell Ave., Suite 100, Milwaukee, WI 53202. (Memo line: Monarch Trail.)
Or donate online at: http://www.themonarchtrail.org/donations.html
 
Wishing you peace and good health in the New Year!!
Warm regards,
 
Barb Agnew