by Mitsi Chorak 

The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge has a long-standing commitment to planting butterfly habitats.  Paige Massey, a bridge volunteer and Master Gardener, was encouraged by her sister, Joy Dyer, a Georgia Master Gardener, to join the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail.  Joining means that we are fully committed to providing nectar plants as a food source and host plants where butterflies can lay their eggs.  This will give us the opportunity to encourage the conservation of butterflies and their habitats and educate visitors on how they can help the butterflies.

To fulfill the desire of former First Lady Mrs. Rosalynn Carter to bring public awareness to the declining Monarch butterfly population and to the threatened migration from North America to Mexico for overwintering, the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail was established in 2013.  The organization encourages everyone to plant butterfly gardens to increase habitats and joining enables the organization to monitor the migration routes of the Monarch butterflies.   The project has been very successful–beginning in Plains, Georgia it has expanded throughout the United States and internationally. 

Let’s help keep our butterflies alive!

1.  Plant milkweeds and nectar plants in groups, the more scented and colorful the better. Some examples are coneflowers, black-eyed Susan, marigolds, verbena and zinnias.

2.  Install host plants where butterflies can lay their eggs and provide food for the caterpillars that hatch from the eggs.  Host plants could be milkweeds, shasta daisy, aster, and parsley.

3.  Avoid the use of pesticides.

4.  Share this information with others.

The gardens at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge are flourishing and now would be the perfect time to visit and observe our commitment to the butterflies. 

Mitsi Chorak is a Lake Lure Flowering Bridge board member.