Monarch Waystation established at Norman Johnston Alternate School

Published in The BANAR September 2022
Sarah Morgan-White, BCA Director of Environment, Tree Team Lead
“Where flowers bloom, so does hope” – Lady Bird Johnson

Earlier this year, (thanks to the efforts of Miriam Hampson) the BCA’s Environment Committee was allocated funds from the Friends of Mer Bleue Community Fund to establish a Monarch Waystation in Blackburn Hamlet. A Monarch Waystation is a place that provides resources necessary for monarch butterflies to produce successive generations and sustain their migrations. Among other things, it contains milkweed plants, nectar plants and shelter, and not only benefits Monarch butterflies but other pollinators as well!

Kara Kaufman, secondary teacher of science, math and gardening at Norman Johnston Alternate School, and her spring gardening class led the project from start to finish. Identifying a suitable location, preparing it for planting, selecting and planting the plants and flowers, and making a beautiful sign for the garden. As I visited the school to meet with Kara and go over the plan, I was absolutely blown away. Kara and her students have the greenest thumbs I have ever seen! Of course, words and photos will not do their work justice. If you have a chance this summer, swing by their gardens and visit the new NJ Monarch Waystation. You can also take a seat on a new bench placed next to the Monarch Waystation, admire their work and hopefully see monarch butterflies and caterpillars!

To show our support of monarch conservation, in June we had the NJ Monarch Waystation certified as an official Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch.

Thanks to Kara and her students, Jese Stoppard, Rain Saintonage, Priya Ali, Eli Abbott, R-J Roth Jones, Geoffrey Michaud, Anna Rafael, Oceanna Charron, Oazis Frazier-Spooner and Cam Wallace for their beautiful work in making Blackburn’s first Monarch Waystation. Thanks also to the Blackburn Community Association, Friends of Mer Bleue and Waste Connections for allocating the funding that made this project possible.

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