Toyota Plants in North America Develop Monarch Butterfly Waystation Habitats
Toyota Georgetown is known for its love of winged things. Back in June, we reported that the plant was establishing 10 hives to help preserve our honeybees (and we also used the following gif, which we feel is worth repeating because why not).
Honeybees aren’t the only insects that Toyota Georgetown is passionate about saving, though. The plant also boasts two monarch butterfly waystation habitats on-site, and now three other Toyota plants in Alabama, Mississippi, and Indiana are developing habitats in which monarch butterflies can thrive.
The waystation habitats contain wildflowers and milkweed—two plants that the butterflies love. Adult monarchs can gather nectar from wildflowers, while monarch larvae receive much-needed food and shelter from milkweed.
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The two existing waystation habitats at the Georgetown plant are located at the Childcare Development Center and the Environmental Education Center Nature Trail. Additionally, the plant supports four monarch butterfly waystation habitats at three elementary schools in Lexington, and one at the Yuko-en Park in Georgetown. Each site was provided with seed packages and signage to signify its registration with MonarchWatch.org, and the plant also provided the Child Development Center with books and posters to help educate children on the plight of the monarch.
The US monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 90% in the last 20 years, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service has been petitioned to classify the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. The population decline can be attributed to many factors, including habitat loss due to herbicide use, climate change, and a loss of overwintering habitat. Waystation habitats like the ones provided at Toyota Georgetown and other North American Toyota plants help replace some of the butterflies’ habitat loss, allowing them to thrive.