The Monarch Alliance’s (TMA) mission is to educate the public about the severely declining monarch butterfly population and to plant Monarch Waystations in the community. Monarch Waystations are butterfly gardens containing milkweed and nectar yielding plants to provide monarchs with the necessities to produce offspring. TMA is currently fundraising to construct a Monarch Waystation at Potomac Valley Audubon Society’s Cool Spring Preserve; you can donate to that effort here!
The Monarch Alliance (TMA) was formed as an association of Washington County, Maryland in 2015. In October of that year, TMA worked with the City of Hagerstown to establish our first Monarch Waystation at Kiwanis Park.
In 2016, TMA really grew as an organization. In that year, we began a relationship with Sunny Meadows Garden Center, which allows us to have two milkweed and native plant sales each year.
By early 2017, TMA became a program of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society. We than began using our Sunny Meadows plant sales as fundraisers. The proceeds of these sales fund a Monarch Waystation Grant program that we award to public organizations for Monarch Waystation projects.
TMA continues to grow in 2018. We are now expanding the reach of our programs into the panhandle of West Virginia and Frederick County, Maryland.
One of the main missions of TMA is to educate the public about the lifecycle and annual migration of the monarch. We give presentations throughout the year to various service, birding, gardening and environmental organizations. We also set up informational booths at festivals, including Boonsboro’s Greenfest, the Green Team in Middletown, Tomato Fest in Jefferson County and Pollinator Palooza in Sharpsburg.
During the fall migration in September, we conduct our “Monarch Discovery Days” program. We hold monarch-tagging events at the Antietam National Battlefield, Briggs Animal Adoption Center, Claymont Mansion, Catoctin Creek Nature Center and Kiwanis Park and City (of Hagerstown) Park.
For the last two years, we have also held a fundraiser for projects via Crowdrise. Last year, we raised funds for monarch habitat at Fort Frederick State Park. This year our focus is monarch habitat at the City of Hagerstown’s newest park, the Thomas Kennedy Memorial Park and Plaza.
Other programs we have include a Junior Monarch Alliance program at North Jefferson Elementary School, Workshop on Butterflies and Native Plants at Kiwanis Park, Annual Butterfly Count at the Antietam National Battlefield and Arbor Day Celebration with the City of Hagerstown.
We were recently featured on Hagerstown’s WDVM news outlet, discussing the population decrease of Monarch butterflies. You can read and watch that video here.
TMA is always looking for new volunteers to grow our organization and continue providing educational events and programs to the public!