COLE CAMP — Cole Camp has become the first Monarch City USA designation in the United States thanks to members of the Cole Camp Friends of the Monarch.
The Friends of the Monarch presented the Cole Camp City Council and Mayor Burton Bormann with a framed proclamation and two signs for the city limits at Thursday’s council meeting.
Friends of the Monarch Treasurer Lyn Kadrie said Friday that the presentation was a Christmas gift to the city. Because of the monarch’s decreasing numbers Kadrie began years ago trying to organize a group to help the butterfly. In 2010 they formed the present group. Kevin Derendinger is president, Robert Owens, vice-president, Kadrie, treasurer and Maurita Rissler secretary.
The nonprofit group has worked through the University of Kansas and Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch and Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, to get the project up and running.
They also worked with Monarch City USA Director Russell Stubbles, of Maple Valley, Washington. So far they have helped certify 10 official Monarch Waystations or monarch habitats in Cole Camp and one at Sterett Creek in Warsaw.
“This program comes out of the University of Kansas and when I first started I told him (Taylor) my goal was to certify the city,” Kadrie said. “In order to certify the city we were going to have to contact Russell Stubbles. We called, and he said they would do it … so for $50 they would certify us.”
Kadrie and Rissler said Friday that Cole Camp resident Pete Stelling donated the funds for the official certification. Kadrie also noted that Cole Camp was the first city to be certified although there were other states waiting on certification.
Cole Camp’s monarch habitat sites include Cole Camp Boonslick Library, the Walt and Susie Heisterburg wall, Donald Heimsoth’s property, Good Samaritan Nursing Home and property belonging to Mary Elizabeth Van Dyne.
The group is in the planning process of organizing its first Monarch Festival for 2017. The women said Stubble plans to attend as well as Taylor.
“They are going to visit us on our first festival,” Kadrie said.
The group attended the Missouri State Fair last year, setting up tables in the Horticulture Building and educating others about creating monarch habitat.
Kadrie and Rissler said insecticide spraying done to eliminate mosquitoes contributes to both the demise of the monarch and bees. The group had many discussions with the City of Cole Camp about local spraying procedures. The city finally adopted a green approach.
“That’s one thing the city did, they took the green pledge, and they did not spray for the last two years,” Rissler said. “Warsaw did not spray this year.”
Last year the local group released 100 monarch butterflies in Cole Camp and the members hope to increase the number each year. The women said to create a monarch habitat one only needs to plant milkweed and they will come.
“We plant the milkweed and the caterpillars come,” Rissler said. “The monarchs come to the milkweed. They have some history in their DNA that brings them back to the spot.
“The thing about looking out for the monarchs, is it will help all the pollinators and all of us really,” she added. “Because it helps the bees. A lot of the same plants that the monarchs come to, so do the bees. A lot of the plants that are nectar plants are very beautiful and very good for the bees. So, it helps the whole environment.”
Rissler noted that there many kinds of milkweed. The group orders seed and has Ruth Wagler, in Windsor, plant and grow them in her greenhouse. After the milkweed plants are established, Cole Camp Friends of the Monarch often give them to others so they can begin their own monarch habitat.
For more information on saving the monarch butterfly, visit www.monarchwatch.org, monarchcityusa.com or locally call Lyn Kadrie with Cole Camp Friends of the Monarch at 668-4563.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.