A nationally certified Monarch Butterfly Waystation was dedicated at Martinsville High School in Martinsville, on October 25. Constructed by the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) and generously funded by Dr. David Jones of Jones & DeShon Orthodontics and Dr. David L. Jones of Roanoke Valley Orthodontics, the Waystation provides a sustainable habitat for butterflies and other pollinators that are critical to all living things.
“This Waystation is both educational and beautiful,” said Dr. David L. Jones. “I hope that it serves as a reminder to everyone about the importance of conservation and protection of our natural resources.”
Upward Bound and MHC-After3 youth planted all of the pollinator plants as part of community service program through their summer camp.
A certified Monarch Waystation is an intentional garden that has met the criteria for providing food, shelter, and breeding grounds for Monarch butterflies, as well as other pollinators. It must meet several criteria in order to be certified such as size, type of plants and location.
“Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration,” said Krista Hodges, DRBA’s Education Outreach Manager. “Without milkweeds throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce the successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall.
Milkweeds and nectar sources are declining due to development and the widespread use of herbicides at a rate of over 9 square miles a day – that’s 2.2 million acres each year – and equivalent to losing an area of habitat the size of the state of Illinois every sixteen years!”
As pollinators, the monarch butterfly migration across the continent provides an invaluable service, essential for many ecosystems to thrive. It is because of pollinators, such as butterflies, bees, and other insects, that flowers, fruits and vegetables can grow.
“Having this visual reminder about the importance of pollination and the value of environmental conservation is a wonderful addition to our community,” said Dr. David Jones. “Not only is this garden beautiful to look at, it’s already doing its job in helping to sustain the Monarch Butterfly population as evidenced by the hundreds of caterpillars and butterflies that are here. We are so grateful to be able to work with DRBA to bring this to our City.”
Dr. David Jones and his son, Dr. Jones are also donating an additional $10,000 to support environmental education for students at Martinsville Middle School, Meadow View Elementary School and Patrick Henry Elementary School in 2023. An additional donation will be made in 2024.
Visit www.danriver.org to learn more about protecting and conserving our local natural resources and how you can get involved in your community.