Gridlock isn’t egregious when it’s butterflies in the garden.
Butterflies play an irreplaceable role in plant reproduction. Unfortunately, the monarch population in North America has declined 90 percent over the past two decades. In fact, scientists from several environmental organizations filed a petition in August, asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to classify the monarch as "threatened" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Toyota hopes to help stem that by offering these colorful commuters a “pollinator pitstop” on their trip south in the fall and north in the spring.
Working with Monarch Watch, Toyota plants in Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi and Indiana are developing monarch butterfly waystation habitats onsite and in the surrounding community. The waystations contain wildflowers and milkweed. Wildflowers provide nectar for the adults while milkweed serves as food and shelter for monarch larvae.
Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky. plant already has two waystations onsite, one at the Childcare Development Center and another along the Environmental Education Center Nature Trail. It also:
- Supports four monarch waystation habitats at Liberty, Breckenridge and Yates Elementary Schools in Lexington and at the Yuko-en Park in Georgetown
- Provided seed packets and signage for each site to show it has been registered with MonarchWatch.org
- Provided the plant’s Child Development Center with books and posters during Pollinator Week in June
- And Kentucky team members have pledged to protect pollinators in their community.
To the southwest, thanks to the Toyota Mississippi plant, a garden of wildflowers at a new park in Blue Springs also supports the natural migration path of the monarch.
But butterflies aren’t the only pollinators that have Toyota aflutter. Click here to see how Toyota is helping the bee population.