Visitors Want Milkweed And Gift Shops

huge gift shop

Maria Rodale visits the monarch sanctuary, searches real hard to blame something that’s not organic for the decline. Besides, isn’t it the caterpillars someplace else that munch the milkweed?

I arrived around 10 a.m. and saw…nothing. OK, I saw one tiny monarch flitting about like it was a bit drunk. The sanctuary itself is also kind of…sad. Its entrance is between a motel and some garbage cans. It’s very small, and surprisingly, there was no gift shop! I thought back to when I researched the place on the Web and recalled that it was very hard to find. Hmmm…

Undaunted, I drove downtown to the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, where I asked what was going on. “Oh, they are there. If you go back at noon there is a docent who will show them to you. They can be hard to see.” But, I asked, was the population declining? “Absolutely,” she said. The current population was only a quarter of what it was just 10 years ago, she added. I asked what she attributed it to and she said “urban growth, habitat loss, lack of milkweed.” What about agricultural chemicals? I asked. “Oh, that’s more of an East Coast problem,” she said.

Visitors Want Milkweed And Gift Shops

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