Research and studies have suggested that the population of Monarch butterflies in the United States is threatened. There has been a steady decrease in the population of Monarch butterflies in the last ten years and an even greater drop in the last three years. Milkweed, the main food source of Monarch caterpillars, has been lost in the American landscape because of changes in land management practices. Monarch butterflies cannot survive without milkweed, the plant where they lay their larva and in which it feeds.
Now, what do butterflies, The Shawnee Inn, and milkweed have in common? Shawnee’s land management practices foster healthy milkweed growth leading to a strong local Monarch butterfly population. The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and implementing sustainable practices in an effort to preserve the natural surroundings we are fortunate to call home. We continue to maintain naturalized areas for wildlife by limiting the amount of pesticides we use on our grounds. In helping to prevent disease among our plants we conduct most of our irrigation during the dew period so that water is most efficiently absorbed. This practice and the reduced amount of need for pesticides help prevent disease growth on the native growing plants on our course and grounds of our resort. Among these native growing plants, are milkweed.
Across the bridge onto the island which holds 24 of our 27 holes of our Tillinghast-designed golf course is a large patch where the milkweed plant has continued to flourish. In cooperation with Audubon International, we have established protected sanctuaries on our golf course island. These areas are naturalized with wild flowers and plants. There is no mowing and no spraying and nest boxes are erected in these areas to help facilitate growth of population of other wild species. With the decline in certain species of wildlife, it is more important than ever to take steps to protect their natural environment. With safe environmental practices in place it is easy to accommodate natural habitats in every day life.
Here at The Shawnee Inn the practices we have adopted not only provide a safe sanctuary for the dwindling Monarch butterfly population but are instilling practices in our employees, guests and community to foster a healthier environment for native species.