Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars – it is their only food source! The number of monarch butterflies counted at overwintering sites in California and Mexico has decreased in recent years. We also are experiencing a major loss of milkweed plants in Monarchs’ spring and summer breeding areas, due to factors like urban and agricultural development and use of herbicides in farming, pastures, and along roadways. 
The good news is that we can help reverse this trend! By planting butterfly host plants such as milkweeds and a diverse array of flowering plants in school gardens, community gardens, and front and back yards, we create new habitat for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators. 

The RCD's Milkweed for Monarchs program is all about creating more habitat for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators by planting milkweed. Not only does planting milkweed provide essential habitat for Monarchs, it also provides the opportunity to observe the life cycle of these fascinating insects.
We are focusing on California native plants for this program and we're giving out narrowleaf milkweed plants and seeds, as well as a native pollinator wildflower seed mix, to schools in San Diego County. So far we've given alomst 4,000 narrowleaf milkweed plants and hundreds of native milkweed and wildflower seed packs to schools and community sites across the County.
To find out about our next milkweed distribution and other school garden news, sign up to our school garden email newsletter.
We are encouraging participating schools to engage in our citizen science program (details below). If your school is interested in participating, or if you have any questions, please contact Ann Baldridge at 619-562-0096 or
Milkweed seed sowing and plant care instructions: 

Creating pollinator habitat: 

Milkweed for Monarchs Citizen Science Program:
Other citizen science programs:
More info about Monarchs: