Pollinator Garden Looks to Attract Monarch Butterflies to Midland University Campus
There’s a new flower bed that recently sprouted up on the Midland University campus, and if all goes according to plan, there will be some monarch butterflies making an appearance as well.
Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Monarchs organization, whose mission is to establish native plants in pollinator gardens that support bees and butterflies, especially the Monarch, about 60 plants were put in place on the east side of Kimmel Theatre.
Dawn Osness, Administrative Coordinator, Dunklau School of Business, has served as a sponsor for the Nebraska Monarchs for the past couple of years and has received free plants from the organization. “Last year, I applied for a grant and received about 30 plants that we put near the Olson Student Center,” she said. “I found out they were doing the plant giveaway again this year and contacted Trent Meyer (Grounds Supervisor) about the best place to plant them.”
Osness and Brooke Schwanke, Director of Academic Core Experience, planted the pollinator garden earlier this month. There are about 10-12 different varieties of plants, and once those come into bloom, they should begin attracting pollinators, including Monarch butterflies. “The number of Monarch butterflies in the region has been dropping dramatically,” Osness said. “With Midland having an arboretum, it shows that we are already nature friendly, so adding this garden goes hand-in-hand with that. As native plants, they are drought resistant and should adapt well to our climate and seasons.”
The opportunity to add her own personal touch to beautify campus has been rewarding for Osness. “I really love Midland’s campus, even before I started working here, so to be here every day and walk by and catch a glimpse of the garden is a sense of pride,” she said. “I hope it’s something that people will enjoy.”