As part of the Monarch Manifesto, the David Suzuki Foundation is encouraging Canadians to reach out to garden centres or nurseries across the country and ask them carry milkweed on their shelves.
Each store or nursery that agrees to carry milkweed will be added to the David Suzuki Foundation's list of local milkweed dealers across the country next spring.
To make this task easier, below is a sample letter you can adapt. Click here to download a word document version of the same letter.
For best results, try dropping by your local store in person.
Good luck! (We're behind you all the way.)
Tell us about your challenges and successes! Comment on Facebook tweet using the #monarchmanifesto hashtag or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Often all it takes to get things rolling is a little inspiration, some initiative and periodic, gentle nudges to make fun, green things happen in your neighbourhood.
Together, we can bring monarch butterflies back from the brink.
Sample letter below, please adapt
[Insert your name, address, email and phone number]
[Insert institution name and address]
Re: Please help bring monarchs butterflies back from the brink
Dear [insert name],
Have you noticed there aren't as many monarch butterflies as there used to be? I remember seeing them in [insert community name] each summer. But monarch numbers have declined by 95 per cent over the past couple of decades due to loss of the habitat and milkweed plants they need to survive. The good news: You can help bring monarchs back!
I live in the neighbourhood and was wondering if [insert name of store] would be interested in helping monarchs and other butterflies by stocking native milkweed plants on your shelves next spring. If you are planning to carry milkweed, great! If not, please consider ordering milkweed and other butterfly-friendly native flowers and shrubs to sell next spring and summer.
As you likely know, milkweed is the only plant monarch moms use to lay their eggs, and it's the monarch caterpillars' main source of food. That's why the David Suzuki Foundation and many other groups are encouraging us all to plant more milkweed. And if your store carries milkweed, it will be added to the Foundation's growing online list of local milkweed suppliers next spring.
Thanks for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.
[Insert your name]
P.S. If you have milkweed on your shelves next spring, you can count on me to help spread the word.