The flower gardens at the Patuxent Research Refuge's North Tract have been sanctioned as a certified monarch butterfly waystation and will be listed in the international Monarch Waystation Registry.
Laurel resident Joe DiGiovanni, a Master Gardener, rejuvenated and enhanced the existing butterfly gardens at the visitor contact station, and his efforts were recognized by Monarch Watch, an educational and outreach program at the University of Kansas.
During the annual North American Butterfly Association butterfly count at the refuge July 13, members of the Anne Arundel chapter of NABA were impressed by the variety of host and nectar plants they observed around the contact station and in the butterfly garden, DiGiovanni said. They then completed the required detailed application form and forwarded it to Monarch Watch.
DiGiovanni said the refuge's waystation habitat and accompanying sign, fact sheets and brochures will serve as an important message that everyone can help address the plight of the monarch butterflies by designing their own gardens at homes, schools and other areas throughout Laurel.