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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Students set up fresh place for Monarch butterflies to land during spring migration

Breze Reyes / Hilltop Views
The university’s Ozone Garden is located outside in front of Cater Auditorium. This green, mini-sanctuary is home to several plants that are sustained by students on campus.

The Monarch Butterfly Project took place on campus Dec. 1, where students planted native milkweeds to support the upcoming migration of Monarch butterflies. Students from the science class “Myths, Mysteries, and the Truth” volunteered to remove the weeds from the ozone garden between JBWS and JBWN and plant new milkweed seeds. 

These native milkweed seeds include antelope horns, butterfly weed, green milkweed, showy milkweed and swamp milkweed. The milkweed will fully grow by March, just in time for the butterflies that migrate from Mexico to lay their eggs. The worms will feed on the fresh plants in the garden and turn into the next generation of butterflies that fly out of Texas.

Freshman Eddie Archoa coordinated the Monarch Butterfly Project.  

“I think it’s important for two big reasons. One: community; it brings people together, it gets people more involved at school and we can meet new people,” Archoa said. “And two: just for sustainability. The ozone garden wasn’t really maintained or taken care of, so it’s good that we came through and reorganized it to be something special.”

Several students from the course gathered in the early-morning shade outside of JBWS to work on the garden in preparation for migration season.

Before the students removed the weeds from the garden, they were using the app Seek to identify different plants and flowers. The volunteer project could be beneficial to the garden but also give the students a chance to apply their knowledge from the classroom.

Professor Genaro Lopez teaches the course and is helping his students make their mark.

“They need to know that their actions impact the future of everything on the planet,” Lopez said. “Direct action is the best way to do something. This direct action impacts the future of not just St. Edward’s but the monarch butterfly. They have taken agency. They’re owning this space and from now on, even when they graduate they’ll come back and say, ‘that’s my area, that’s my little space, I did that.’” 

As all the students worked together, the removal and planting of seeds only took about 30 minutes. The class is planning ahead for the spring semester by welcoming in the new generation of butterflies.

In recent years, monarch butterfly populations have been affected by the use of pesticides and climate change which has caused a loss of habitat. It is important for humans to understand the migration patterns of butterflies and do what they can to preserve it and be proactive in assisting the survival of the Monarch butterflies.

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Breze Reyes
Breze Reyes, Staff Writer
Breze is a senior majoring in communication with a minor in journalism and digital media. It is her second semester writing for Hilltop Views. During her free time, Breze likes to be outside in the sun, hang out with friends, practice yoga, swim at the lake/Barton Springs, read books and try new restaurants.

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