This is The Monarch Alliance's third annual summer campaign to bring Monarch Waystations to Washington and Frederick counties of Maryland and to the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. It is a supplement to our grant program to fund Monarch Waystations in our area; see www.themonarchalliance.org. For our summer campaigns, we try to pick a site that has special signifiance as well. Also, one of our goals is to get native plants in the ground in support of all pollinators, but especially monarch butterflies.
Our campaign this summer is to establish a Monarch Waystation at the Potomac Valley Audubon Society's (PVAS) main office and nature center at Cool Spring Nature Reserve. See www.potomacaudubon.org. It will be designed by James Dillon, one of the premier landscape designers in the region and have around 800 milkweed and native plants.
In 1752, 22-year-old George Washington made his first land purchase of 1,459 acres along Bullskin Run, an area that includes the present-day site. Cool Spring Nature Preserve consists of 32 acres of forest, meadow and marsh in southern Jefferson County, West Virginia. The Potomac Valley Audubon Society has 1.7 miles of easy, mowed walking trails, a natural amphitheater, an outdoor classroom, a gazebo and a campfire circle. The preserve is used for summer camps, children's programs and adult workshops.
Cool Spring Preserve is named after Cool Spring Farm. It was donated to the PVAS by CraftWorks in 2016.
The Preserve is also home to the PVAS Nature Center. The center is open most week days from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. It features natural history displays as well as a nature classroom downstairs. In the classroom, PVAS houses its education animals: two aquatic turtles, a box turtle and Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The “Kids Corner” has puppets, puzzles and a touch table for the little ones.
I have been associated with PVAS for the last 15 years. I became interested in birding through PVAS's Birding 101. I've led birding trips for PVAS for over 10 years. I also became a Master Naturalist at PVAS. When I started The Monarch Alliance, Kristin Alexander, the Executive Director, offered PVAS's help with advertising our activities and offered to "house" our organization. Three years ago, I took up PVAS's offer and The Monarch Alliance became a "program" of PVAS. We have had a great relationship since then. I want to recognize the great work of PVAS through a beautiful Monarch Waystation and hope you will support it through a donation. I am hoping we can use the waystation to educate the public about the monarch butterfly.