HANNIBAL — Members of Brownie Girl Scout Troop 9197 completed an ambitious project to save endangered Monarch butterflies, sharing their research and efforts with Beth Haven residents on Friday afternoon.
The group of 14 girls in second through fifth grades unveiled a Certified Monarch Waystation and flower garden surrounding the pond at Beth Haven. They divided into two groups, with one-half of the Scouts researching topics to create a presentation and the other half creating butterfly houses and bird houses. The girls planted flowers like milkweed for the butterflies in planters surrounding the pond at Beth Haven.
Before the Scouts set up the butterfly houses, residents got to hear presentations from several of the girls about the butterflies that would soon be coming by their Certified Monarch Waystation.
During their research, the girls learned facts about Monarch butterflies so they could create a welcoming habitat for the endangered species. They also learned about some of the natural and human factors threatening the butterflies.
“Well, something surprising is that what kills them is pesky plants,” Ainsley Viehmann, 8, said. It keeps their disease all around here. It keeps collecting and collecting every year, and that’s what’s making them about extinct.”
The girls found out some farmers chop down milkweed — which is a crucial plant for a Monarch butterfly’s habitat — when they plant crops. Quinn Locke, 8, said her father “is being really nice and not chopping them down”, but she said sometimes the combine can still knock some of them over.
Heidi Janes, 8, said she enjoyed getting to work with her friends to create the flower garden. Quinn pointed out some of the milkweed growing in one of the planters.
“It was fun because we all planted the flowers together and we did the bird houses together. And then we also put bird seed in there and lots of other stuff. It was really fun to do it,” Heidi said.
Landry Viehmann, 8, enjoyed seeing the results of their teamwork.
“It think it was fun to watch the flowers bloom really fast,” Landry said.
The girls planted the flowers on Monday, and the colorful plants were aready growing strong around the pond Friday.
In her presentation, Quinn talked about things Monarch butterflies need, including milkweed, nectar for survival, and a water source. They also need the butterfly houses, and rocks warmed by sunshine so they can rest their wings. They have a long journey each year, flying north from Mexico in March and back southward in November.
Ainsley made a colorful presentation with all sorts of details about Monarch butterflies. Heidi’s presentation detailed the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly, and Brinleigh Locke’s presentation focused on several details about the endangered species.
Viehmann showed the residents a colorful mockup of the garden, signed by each of the girls in the Troop. The girls took turns hammering a sign into the garden soil to mark the site as a Certified Monarch Waystation, they they carefully placed butterfly houses and bird houses on shepherd’s hooks around the pond.
Beth Haven residents Skip and Betty Wells, Joyce Dilley and Judy Grisham enjoyed the Scouts’ presentations and the efforts they put into the Monarch Waystation and flower garden.
Grisham said it was a fun experience, noting “I think they enjoyed it, too.”
“I think they did a great job. Hopefully we’ll see a lot of butterflies,” Dilley said.
“They put a lot of work into it,” Betty Wells said. “I’m so excited. We’ll just wait and see now, won’t we?”