When you think of a butterfly, what image comes to mind? Is it of orange wings streaked with black lines and dotted with white, resembling the spots and stripes of a Bengal tiger? We owe that iconic image to the Monarch butterfly. This prolific pollinator was once abundant in North America, but has since experienced a disruption of its habitat. In an effort to help, we have launched the “More for Monarchs” program in Asheville!
Quick Fact: the population of the Monarch butterfly has fallen from 654 million at its peak in the mid-90s to roughly 109 million today.
That’s a loss of over 83% of their total population! From 2016 to 2017 alone, the population Monarch butterflies declined 27%. To put that in perspective, imagine losing the entire population of Africa and Europe in just one year!
What Inspired Us To Create The “More for Monarchs” Program?
While high quality dental care may be our driving passion at Rebol Family Dentistry, it’s by no means the only thing we are passionate about. We also believe that it is our duty to help care for our planet! So we are happy to announce our first annual “More for Monarchs” campaign – check our infographic below to get all the details…
Hopefully, our “More for Monarchs” program will encourage awareness of the declining Monarch butterfly population while simultaneously promoting a sense of community in Asheville and contribution for all involved.
“We believe in giving back to the community whenever we can,” said Dr. Christopher Rebol. “This spring we wanted to find a cause that would help the environment, our community and keep people encouraged about spring since it was slow to arrive. More for Monarchs provides an opportunity for people to learn about and engage with these threatened butterflies, come together to plant seeds, and make their yards and gardens more beautiful in the process.”
We Passed Out Free Milkweed Seeds on Earth Day 2018
We began by handing out seeds on Earth Day (April 22nd) of this year. These were free, locally-packaged Milkweed seeds that patients could plant in and around their homes and offices.
Monarchs cannot survive without Milkweed.
In the past, Monarchs would stop off at farms and allow their caterpillars to feed off the Milkweed that naturally sprouted in between commercial crops like corn and soybean, but since the planting of herbicide-resistant versions of these crops一allowing farmers to spray their fields with powerful chemicals一the amount of Milkweed has decreased significantly. It’s possible and necessary for adult Monarchs to drink the nectar from a variety of flowers, but Milkweed is the only flower caterpillars can consume.
Monarchs co-evolved alongside Milkweed. Most other species of insects cannot feed off the plant because of cardenolides, a toxic compound found within their latex-based sap. Monarch caterpillars, however, absorb this toxin as they feed on the leaves of the plant, making the caterpillars themselves toxic to potential predators and increasing their chances of maturation.
We Donated Seeds to Carolina Day School
To further encourage this incredible flower, we have also donated seeds to the students at Carolina Day school. I’m sure we can all remember witnessing the process of seed planting, germination and growth while in school, as well as the metamorphosis of a butterfly, which is closely connected to the elementary curriculum. We will also be giving packets to local businesses so that they may share them with coworkers, friends and family in the Asheville area.
We have been ardently serving our community since 2008, but this year Rebol takes an additional step as we pledge to do “More for Monarchs”, and we’d like your help. Getting involved with this program is easy. We encourage anyone to stop by the Rebol office at 69 McDowell St. downtown and pick up a handful of milkweed seed packets for themselves and their friends.
If you’d like to have seeds mailed to you, you can find the More for Monarchs event on Rebol’s Facebook page (@reboldental) and leave a comment. Be sure to follow us on social media for more information. There will also be regular updates on the number of seeds left, as well as a list of local businesses where you can also stop in and pick up your packets.
The Monarch butterfly is more than just an incredible insect一it’s a precious reminder of what makes our country so beautiful. Help us create a better environment for future generations of Monarch butterflies, and make your home and garden more delightful in the process!
For more information about More for Monarchs, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 828-253-5878 and ask for Taylor.