The Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust thanks the Chebeaguers who are participating in our project to plant milkweed around the island and, in the process, help restore the monarch butterfly population. There are five test sites from one end of Chebeague to the other and a dozen other islanders have requested seeds and planted them on their own properties.
There is something else almost all of us can do to help the monarchs. Many areas of Chebeague have been invaded by black swallow wort, a pernicious weed that wraps itself around other plants and smothers them. Swallow wort is equally harmful to monarch butterflies, because they mistake swallow wort for milkweed, not knowing that the swallow wort is extremely toxic to their larvae. Here is a link to a helpful bulletin about swallow wort and how to control it. http://www.sleloinvasives.org/about-invasives/target-species/swallow-wort/ And here is what it looks like. You can give monarchs a big helping hand by looking for swallow wort on your property and doing what you can to get rid of it.