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College of Arts & Sciences
Center for Science Education

Monarch, Milkweed, and Migration Project


Students in Dr. Marturano’s SMED 510 Life Science for Teachers course planned and installed a Monarch Waystation in the Carolina Community Farm and Garden at the Green Quad in 2014. Monarch Waystations are outdoor spaces that provide the resources essential for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Monarch and milkweed populations have been declining rapidly in recent years.
The ecosystem restoration project is designed to provide host plant milkweed during spring and summer reproduction time and nectar plants for monarchs during their fall migration to Mexico. Tagging of migrating monarchs takes place in the fall. Monarch Watch, an education, conservation and research non-profit at the University of Kansas, leads the North American initiative to bring back monarch habitat, milkweed and monarch populations. They granted our garden 32 Ascelpias tuberosa seedlings.
At the Center for Science Education we work with teachers in bringing back monarch and other pollinator populations to schoolyards. By planning, installing and maintaining Monarch Waystations at schools across the state, we can create a Butterfly Beltway, a landscape for Lepidoptera.


For more information on Monarch Watch and Monarch Waystations click or

South Carolina Wildlife Federation
Please join SCWF and Irmo Middle School for the first SC screenings of this amazing film about the Monarch butterfly migration, the most incredible migration on Earth, and the determined scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter.
Irmo High School Center for the Arts
6671 St. Andrews Road
Columbia, SC

School Groups:
May 15, 2015 - 10:00 AM
NO charge for school groups, but
must make arrangements through SCWF***

General Public:
May 29, 2015 - 7:00 PM
General admission -
$5.00 per person, $15.00 family maximum. 
General admission is payable at the door.  
Seating will be first-come, first served.
Group prices - 
$50 maximum for groups of more than 10. 
Reserved seating encouraged -
can be arranged through SCWF***
   ***Please contact Sara Green at SCWF through email here or 
phone at (803) 609-4778 to reserve space for your group***  
Sponsors are needed to help offset the costs for rights to show the film, as well as the costs for the packets of milkweed seeds to distribute at the screenin
Please consider sponsoring Irmo Middle School’s presentation of “Flight of the Butterflies” to help us spread the word about Monarch population decline, and what we can all do to make a difference!  Sponsors will be provided with tickets and thanked publicly at the event and on SCWF & IMS websites and through statewide social media.
  Questions? Please contact SCWF Director of Education, Sara Green,  
through email here, or by phone at (803) 609-4778.
Background of IMS Monarchs & Milkweed Project:
When 7th graders at Irmo Middle School were tasked with choosing a science project with an international scope to tie into their school’s magnet theme, they investigated many possibilities.  Around the same time, national news media started running stories about the drastic decline in Monarch Butterflies migrating to Mexico.  The 97% decline in population is mostly due to loss of critical habitat – the milkweed on which Monarchs depend for a caterpillar food source.
Over the past year, students have been studying this species and researching the threats and conservation practices.  They began tagging Monarchs during the 2014 fall migration to aid in international research efforts.  Students have been growing milkweed indoors, and have plans to install a ¼ acre milkweed garden on the school grounds this spring.  They also made a presentation to Irmo Town Council, and received a commitment from the Town to plant milkweed on town property throughout our community.  Student-created posters are being distributed to town facilities, local plant nurseries and schools in the community to encourage citizens to plant milkweed for Monarchs in their own yard.