Butterflies make the world a more beautiful place.
About the project
You are invited to help save the monarch butterfly.
Become a part of the Mercy Community Monarch Milkweed Project by creating a milkweed garden site on the monarch's migratory path through this commitment:
LEARN MORE about why Mercy is called to respond to the monarch's care.
CREATE a Mercy Monarch Habitat on your campus or in your yard that includes both native nectar and milkweed plants. Say no to any pesticide use!
REGISTER your habitat site with Mercy Ecology, Inc. and receive a sign for your garden to certify it as part of the Mercy Monarch Habitat Network.
DOCUMENT and share in photos and story the development and ongoing care of your Mercy Monarch Habitat.
BE AWED by your habitat and delight in these beautiful creatures! You can also watch the monarch's migration at:
Did You Know?
Butterflies, including monarchs, produce natural resources by helping with plant pollination (reproduction). They provide food for animals - including humans! You can thank butterflies for one out of every three bites of food you eat. They also sustain our ecosystems and warn us - by either their presence or their absence - about the health of the environment.
Monarchs are at risk.
Their population has declined by approximately 90% since the 1990's - an alarming signal from those who teach us so much about the world we live in. Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico and California and return in the spring.
Why is this happening?
There are a number of reasons for the rapid population decline, including the following:
1. Harmful land management and habitat changes are contributing to the loss of milkweed plants that are essential for monarch caterpillars to grow and develop.
2. Insecticides and herbicides used to control insects and weeds are damaging the monarch's immune systems.
3. Illegal logging in Mexico is shrinking the habitat sites where the monarchs would typically spend the winter.
4. Climate change is reducing the growth of the milkweed plant.
5. Rising temperatures and severe drought limit where the monarchs can feed and reproduce.
Our Common Home
In today's world, we cannot understand hunger, violence and poverty apart from the degradation affecting our environment.
In 2016, Pope Francis introduced an eighth work of mercy, "Care for our Common Home." The Laudato Si, widens the boundaries of "all" to include Earth and all life in this home that we all share. To act as Mercy, we must embrace our interconnectedness with all of life and creation.
Mercy Calls You
The Sisters of Mercy have made a commitment to "reverence Earth and work more effectively toward the sustainability of life" (Critical Concerns, 2005). Bearing the name of Mercy calls us to merciful action in response to the cry of our distressed planet.
This is your call to exercise Mercy, to take to heart another's suffering. After all, Mercy offers other concrete response, such housing to the homeless and feeding the hungry. Mercifulness embraces all of life and that includes monarch butterflies.
Inaugural Participating Ministries
Mercy Ecospirituality Center
Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center
West Hartford, CT
Click on the map markers below to see where registered gardens are growing!
How you can help
Plant Nectar Plants
Monarchs feed on nectar from a wide range of blooming native plants, including milkweed. Flowers will collect nectar and provide necessary fuel for their migration.
Migrating monarchs will feast on the blooming flowers in your garden to provide the necessary fuel for them to reach their destination and save the species.
The monarch's entire life cycle is dependent on milkweed leaves, from caterpillar to maturity.
For more information or to join the Mercy Monarch Network,
email Anne Curtis, RSM at [email protected]
The Mercy Milkweed Project is sponsored by Mercy Ecology, Inc.