Monarchs Across Georgia recently certified Heather Wegenhart and Marietta High School for their colorful wildlife garden plans for Marietta.

The garden has been designed to meet the needs of butterflies, hummingbirds, native bees, beetles and moths. The garden will also serve as an outdoor classroom for students.

The Monarchs Across Georgia’s Pollinator Habitat Certification Program was initiated in the fall of 2005 in an effort to promote conservation, the restoration of native plants and to provide citizens an opportunity to reconnect with the natural environment. MAG has been engaging schools and families in learning experiences involving monarchs and other native butterflies for over 16 years. With the decline of the monarch caterpillar’s only host plant, milkweed, the group decided to create the certification program as a way to further encourage gardeners to incorporate milkweed and other native plants into their landscapes.

Other habitat requirements that Wegenhart had to meet included providing additional caterpillar and adult pollinator nectar food sources, water and basking sites and some type of shelter with choices ranging from dense shrubs, logs or brush piles.

Whether one is limited to a small patio, have an acre of land or a much larger property, Monarchs Across Georgia would like to also acknowledge efforts in welcoming not only butterflies, but other pollinators to one’s garden. All certified gardens are eligible to order a “Monarchs Across Georgia Certified Pollinator Habitat” sign.

For more, visit www.monarchsacrossga.org.

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