Published on August 31, 2020

Oak Knoll Camper Also Raises & Releases Monarchs

Amelia teaching her fellow Oak Knoll campers about Monarch butterflies

One of Oak Knoll's very own summer campers is receiving some great recognition for her work as a budding entomologist! Amelia Shapiro-Macbeth raises and releases endangered Monarch butterflies, and Cumberland's The Valley Breeze recently published an article about her amazing work.

In addition to the butterfly raising she did this summer at home, Amelia has been working since 2018 to help establish a population of milkweed flowers in Oak Knoll's pollinator garden.

Milkweed plants are the only ones that can host native Monarch caterpillars. They also support a wide variety of other insects, like the milkweed beetle.

Amelia first spread some seeds in the summer of 2018 during camp. The next year, sanctuary staff saw the first milkweed plants emerge in the garden!

While attending camp in summer 2019, Amelia saw the milkweed thriving in the sanctuary's pollinator garden. So she brought some of the Monarchs she raised at home and released them at Oak Knoll. She even took time to present information about what she was doing to the rest of the campers, and let some of the kids release Monarchs into the garden.  

When local patrons visit the sanctuary these days, they can see the results of Amelia's hard work. The milkweed flowers are thriving, and we have a small population of Monarch butterflies busily collecting nectar throughout the day.

Thanks, Amelia, for being a Nature Hero!