Butterflies in my garden are an occasional delight. I grow some of their favorite foods, the desert milkweed and lantana, to encourage them to stop by. Still I wonder what I could to have more of these flying jewels in my garden all year long. As part of the Arizona Centennial Celebration Lola White is coordinating a Butterflies and Garden project with the goal of making Arizona the most butterfly friendly state in the nation. Her websitehttp://www.butterflyquest.net/ describes the project and provides a wealth of information about butterflies.
Lola is quite passionate about butterflies and led the way for Arizona to designate the “The two-tailed swallowtail butterfly (Papilio multicaudata) was as the official state butterfly of Arizona in 2001. A large butterfly (wingspan 3-5 inches), the two-tailed swallowtail is found only west of the Mississippi in North America (in canyonlands, foothills, valleys, woodlands, and gardens from southwestern Canada through the western half of the U.S. and into Mexico).” http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/Arizona/state_butterfly.html
Lola also is eager to educate others on the importance of butterflies and she writes “Butterflies [insects] are important because they are pollinators, they are subjects in widely different categories of research, they are part of the food chain, they are basic to successful commercial endeavors they are the source of inspiration in the arts, they give joy and pleasure to butterfliers.”
The butterflyquest site also provides downloadable instructional materials for garden clubs and educators to use to help spread the word about the magic and importance of butterflies.
The Butterflies and Gardens project encourages everyone to take the Centennial Pledge
“I PLEDGE to protect and conserve the resources of planet Earth.
I PROMISE to promote education and become a better caretaker of our
Arizona air, water, forest, land and wildlife. [anon] “
in an effort to help all butterflies and in turn help our environment. If you too want more butterflies in your garden see the details at http://www.butterflyquest.net so you too will have more butterflies fluttering by.