Milano Junction Memorial Garden

male monarch butterflyOur chapter’s project was originally called “Bring Back the Monarchs” and was established in early January, 2013.  Its purpose is to establish a Monarch butterfly garden and Waystation, to educate our members and the community, and to eventually share milkweed seed with members and the community so we can increase our local Monarch Butterfly population. The location of this chapter project is in Milano, at the once vacant lot between the Milano Post Office and the Bailey Bank Building – this site is called the Milano Junction Memorial Garden. If you were to go by that area today, you’d see our native butterfly habitat with a variety of wonderful Butterfly-loving plants in this garden section, a flowering tree section, a covered gazebo, interpretive signs and memorial tiles inscribed with donor names. See the picture below of what is proposed for that open lot when it grows up!  We are excited to be given a small section to Bring Back the Monarchs to Milam County.

Some History:

January 2013:  Our chapter has applied for a grant which will help us to provide the resources needed to make this project a success. This grant is co-funding by the Native Plant Society of Texas and Monarch Watch program and funds we may receive are to be used to develop our Monarch garden project plan. Applications will accepted through March 15th and we anticipate their decision by the end of the March…, keep your fingers crossed!

February 2013:  To see the February 20 kickoff meeting’ presentation, click here Feb 20 Presentation Bring Back Monarchs for the PDF file.  Several meetings were held in our community. The meetings, to members and the community discussed the possible grant opportunities to help fund the purchase of compost and milkweed seedlings and their support.  The garden dedication and garden prep meeting was held on February 28th, even on the chilly morning, many members and the community were there in support to this project.

March 2013:  We are moving forward with our efforts and are busy setting up our upcoming plans!  In March, we also had an additional garden work date continuing our efforts to prepare for the April plantings, which we must wait until we have no frost worries….we don’t want to kill our beautiful plants.April 2013:  WELL, we have received word from the Native Plant Society of Texas and Monarch Watch program – we have received part of the grant!  Hearing this wonderful news just adds to our momentum to Bring Back the Monarchs to Milam County!!  April has been a busy month for us!  On April 4th, we held a course called, “Attracting Pollinators using Native Plants” presented by a very experienced gardener and naturalist, Katherine Bedrich, President of the El Camino Real chapter of Tx Master Naturalist. On April 13th at the Milam County Nature Festival we had a booth featuring our beautiful little Monarchs, thanks to Donna, Chip, Jeannette and Debbi.  I believe we made over 200 ‘Monarch Boys & Girls’ today in Milam County! Boys and Girls created their own arm, hand or leg Monarch Butterflies – what a fun day.Upcoming Events that you can partake in are:- On April 16th:  Planting Day – Milano Monarch Butterfly Garden, starting at 9:30a.m.  We will be building a cedar trellis, putting in  plants and mulch – come join us! This is where we will plant the Host (Milkweed) plants and Nectar (various flowering) plants to support the monarchs and other pollinators.

– On April 24th: “Introduction to Monarchs” course from 1:30-3:30p.m. at the Milano Community Center, 303 W. Ave E.  At this event you will learn many things about those lovely little creatures – all about the royal family, its life cycle, anatomy, migration and you’ll see some awesome live footage!   The course is free and open to everyone but please RSVP to reserve your seat. Send your request to:

We have more events upcoming, so please check back when you can!  We’d love to have you attend.

If we can answer any questions, please send an e-mail to:

We Will Build It and They SHALL Come !!

Please take a look at all our project photos at: These also include photos of the Oct 8 workday planting Flowering Trees, donated by Alcoa.

For those who picked up Butterfly Retreat Seed Mix packets, the instructions can be downloaded here.
To celebrate our successful project closure, we thanked all those who have supported it to come to life, on October 23rd, 2013 we held the garden marker and Monarch Waystation reveal. It was amazing to observe all the many beautiful pollinators present which included more than a dozen Monarch butterflies & caterpillars showing their appreciation!
Although the Bring Back the Monarch Project has come to an end, there is a chapter project proposal being considered to continue to support the Milano Junction Memorial Garden to come to life!  As the Bailey Bank Building committee continue to raise funds to restore their historic site, the garden next to it has many more plans!

Committee Members: L-R Donna Lewis, Martha Newman, Sandra Dworaczyk, Debbi Harris (Katherine Bedrich absent)


Community Presentation on Oct 23, 2013

The CBS News Sunday Morning show on Sunday March 3rd 2015 had a very special segment on the Monarchs and what one farmer and naturalist did on his own to help the situation. See that here.  How about some of you Milam and surrounding county folks do the same?
The show ended with a clip of a monarchs in a garden in Georgia. See that here.
The “Milano Junction Memorial Garden” project is an active ongoing project for the development and maintenance of a special place of nature in Milam County.

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