We have had a butterfly garden for several years, and we’ve really enjoyed watching the activity of the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. A few years ago, we did quite a bit of research to improve our garden, making it more appealing to the intended visitors. Despite these efforts, we noticed that we had a significant drop in the number of Monarchs and Swallowtails that visited our garden two years ago.
In the summer of 2014, we began raising Monarchs and Swallowtails to release. We quickly discovered that it is labor-intensive, and that there are MANY reasons that you must be well-informed if you want to try this.
On this site, you will find a variety of lessons and activities that have to do with butterflies and butterfly gardening in northern Illinois. They are mostly intended to provide a general overview for beginners — whether they are K-12 students or local community groups — with lessons and activities built in to each page.
What Types of Butterflies are Native to Northern Illinois?
Doing a Little Research about Nectar Flowers and Host Plants
Other Butterflies: Host Plants and Life Cycles
It’s Rough Out There… Why Do Butterflies Die?
It’s Time to Schedule Your Seed Plantings!
Hands On – Plant Some Milkweed Now
Considerations: Taking Care of Your Butterfly Garden