Monarch Butterfly Waystation

The Kentucky Horse Park Plays Host to Horses—and Butterflies.

The Kentucky Horse Park is proud to showcase new green areas at the park.  While it may seem like these gardens are just to spruce up a previously paved area of the park, there is a much more exciting reason behind them.  

Planted by dedicated horse park volunteers, one of the gardens just behind the Visitor Center, near The Bit and Bridle Restaurant, is serving as a Monarch Butterfly Waystation. Filled with milkweed and nectar plants, the garden is available for Monarchs to make a permanent home, as well as a “summer home” while on their migration journey. With the abundance of milkweed, the butterflies can lay their eggs here and, upon hatching, the caterpillars can feast on the milkweed. Monarch Butterflies are considered a near-threatened species, so habitats like this are essential to their survival.    

The garden isn’t only home to butterflies and their young, but to a sculpture made by the park’s blacksmith as well. The sculpture of a leaf and butterfly was made out of recycled materials found at the park. Working on it on his time off, it cost less than $3 to make. Not only is the sculpture made of recycled materials, but the anvil and hammer used to make it are both recycled as well. The blacksmith thought this was a great way to give back to the park and make use of previously unusable materials. His long-term goal is to have more recycled sculptures in other gardens across the park.

Information about creating a home Monarch Waystation is available at http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/index.html.

Article by Brett Currie, KHP marketing intern