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Sandburg Home seeks volunteer monarch monitors

National Geographic photo. National Geographic photo.

The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is seeking volunteers to participate in a citizen science volunteer project monitoring monarch butterflies.

The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project is a nationwide citizen science project developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota that collects long-term data from volunteers in the United States and Canada on monarch larva populations and milkweed habitats. The goal of this project is better understand the reasons behind the decreasing numbers of monarchs in North America and also help to conserve the threatened migration of the monarch butterflies. The Sandburg site needs volunteers to help care for and monitor these milkweed plants.
One step the park has taken to help the monarch butterflies has been to preserve the milkweed plants in the field in front of the main house. The milkweed plants in the field recently became a certified way station and monarch sanctuary with the Monarch Watch Organization.
Park volunteers will monitor the plants for signs of monarch butterflies by checking under the milkweed leaves for monarch eggs and larva and looking for chewed milkweed leaves.
Individuals or groups who volunteer will be assigned one of seven milkweed patches in the front field to monitor on a weekly basis. This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for families or small school groups of 20 or less to spend some time outdoors while gaining experience and knowledge of monarch habitats.


To volunteer contact Tim Levene or Irene Van Hoff at 233-2477 or send an email to or For more information on the project, visit or