Alumnus’ Efforts to Expand the Monarch Garden
Environmental biology alumnus John Maciolek graduated in 2017, but never abandoned the project he started when he was a student.
- Environmental Biology (M.S.)
In early 2017, when the Hood/Frederick Memorial Hospital Resource Garden was opened, John Maciolek single-handedly advocated for a monarch butterfly habitat in the garden. At that time, he gifted milkweeds from his own garden to start the monarch corner in the resource garden. He has continued his efforts this year as well, and managed to expand monarch plants to three corners of the resource garden.
This year, the garden was diversified with additional pollinator species. Ten new species of native perennials were added to the three existing species of milkweed. This diversification happened in early June, with the help of volunteers from Frederick Memorial Hospital and Hood College.
“Although it is still called the monarch garden, we are focusing this year on diversifying the plants and attracting other pollinators,” says Maciolek.
They are trying to attract all different types of bees and other species of butterflies and pollinators. This way, it will be a more complete ecosystem, something that is prevalent in nature. Maciolek is very proud of the efforts that produced such a beautiful, useful and expanding garden, and he already has plans for the future. Adding new native plant species, with the addition of the species that were not currently available in the nursery, one goal will be to search for those early season nectar plants and incorporate them into the lively garden. Another is to expand the garden to several different locations on campus. Maciolek is looking into a few locations across campus, with some requirements in mind, such as non-clay soil, full sun exposure and good drainage.