The Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates came together in 2014, and are a grassroots group who have been collaborating together in a whirlwind of exciting community projects on behalf of the Western Monarch, such as:
- Educational and hands-on Milkweed and Monarch Workshops with Tom Landis
- Creation and maintenance of many community Monarch waystations, the largest of which is currently being constructed at the Coyote Trails School of Nature in Medford Oregon
- Native milkweed seed propagation, packaging, and distribution (although not yet on a large scale)
- Proactive community collaboration and outreach (such as the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bear Creek Watershed, local nature centers, churches, and other community partners)
- Responsible controlled Monarch rearing for release and/or tagging
Our mission statement:
"The Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates are a dynamic group of people united in a common goal: to help the western monarch butterfly. Individuals in the group are called to help the monarch for a variety of compelling reasons, and therefore each brings a unique contribution and perspective to our cause. Our main focus has been: public outreach, creating habitat by establishing Monarch Waystations, planting native milkweed and nectar species, and raising monarchs. By including host plants for other butterflies and emphasizing nectar plants that bloom throughout the season, we are helping all types of pollinators. Through informative signage and regional workshops we are educating and involving local people and communities and affecting positive change on behalf of this iconic and precious species."
- Constructed 8 Monarch Waystations.
- Taught more than 27 classes and workshops all over Oregon, Northern California, and Manchester England called Monarchs and Milkweeds.
- Construction (in progress) of a Community-Scale Waystation at the Coyote Trails Nature Center along Bear Creek in Medford (signage, kiosks, trails, etc.).
- Worked with two rural seed propagation-type nurseries to ratchet up the production of milkweed seedlings and other native nectar-bearing plants for monarchs. One is a greenhouse at Applegate School, involving students.
- Hand gathered, cleaned and packaged native milkweed seeds from the area for use by all.
- Participated in a Monarch Tagging program with Washington State University (currently tagged more than 950 monarch butterflies this season, eight of which were later identified overwintering in California).
- Attended four local public events with our SOMA booth.
- SOMA volunteers have reared and successfully released more than 2000 monarchs from eggs or caterpillar stage this summer season.
- Held an art contest for at-risk students to make monarch sign posts for a Butterfly Wing Trail System (see the "MonART" page on at “SOMonarchs.org” to see the winning artwork!).
- Keynote speaking to 210 students at a symposium (talk called The Monarch's Voice).
- Publication: Native Pollinator Plants for Southern Oregon, TD Landis and S. Savoie.
- Reached agreement with a private institute that recently placed 5000 acres of Oak woodland into conservation to include monarch restoration into their conservation program.
- SOMA outreach at a glance: PDF map