Jane Wolkowicz

Photo by Flickr user Peter Miller

As Sunset reported last week in a conversation with Annie’s Annuals owner Annie Hayes, once green gardens and lawns around the state are going dry—and that change is saving the region valuable water.

But unfortunately, as Hayes noted, not everyone is benefitting. Bees, butterflies and other creatures regularly depend on our plants and flowers for support.

The monarch butterfly species in particular has suffered as a result of the drought, climate change and increased herbicide use in recent years. KCET.org reported in January that only half the number of monarchs arrived at their overwintering home in Mexico (via California) this year compared to last.

That news was reason enough for Southern California bakery chain La Monarca to recently launch a ‘Save the Monarchs’ initiative.

Starting this week, customers at each of the bakery’s six locations can pick up a packet of California Milkweed seeds with their morning coffee. The one-dollar donation for the seeds benefits the ECOLIFE Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly and Water Conservation Program.

La Monarca hopes the campaign will inspire Californians to start attracting butterflies into their gardens this year.

"The message here is that helping can be fun, easy and great for both conserving our precious water resources and preserving the Monarchs and other pollinators that enjoy our gardens,” says Bill Toone, ECOLIFE Conservation Founder. "It is important to realize that California is in a drought that will never end, but this does not mean we cannot garden, it simply means we need to garden more thoughtfully.”

Native Milkweed plants are not only drought tolerant, but also the food source for monarch caterpillars. Monarch butterflies also depend on them to them to lay their eggs.

Leave a comment below and tell us what your businesses/households are doing to combat the drought.


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