Operation Monarch for Golf Courses: Developing Protocols for Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plantings in Golf Course Naturalized Roughs

  • Potter, Daniel (PI)
  • Munshaw, Gregg (CoI)
  • Redmond, Carl (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


This proposal calls for a new conservation initiative, Operation Monarch Butterfly for Golf Courses [OMBGC] and requests partial support from USGA to develop protocols for establishing monarch butterfly habitat in golf course naturalized roughs and to promote OMBGC through extension and outreach. Populations of this iconic butterfly, renowned for its long-distance migrations, are threatened by loss of wild milkweed (Aclepias species), its sole larval host plant, to the extent that habitat restoration is essential to the species’ survival. This is an opportunity for the Golf Industry to take a high-profile leadership role in a national conservation effort to save a beloved native species. The proposed project complements existing golf industry environmental initiatives and directly addresses two of the three overarching goals of the 2015 National Pollinator Health Strategy. Methodology for hand-sowing versus drill- seeding native milkweeds (common, swamp, and butterfly milkweed) will be evaluated and compared to success using hand-harvested seed from golf courses. Milkweed plantings with or without wildflowers will be evaluated in a strip-crop scenario and in a commercial seed pre-mix to determine best ways for golf course superintendents to establish on-course monarch restoration plantings. Value of golf course plantings for supporting populations of larval and adult monarchs along their migration routes, as well as other native pollinators and honey bees, will be documented. The studies will be replicated on three golf courses and at the University’s research/extension farm to provide visibility and backgrounds for outreach education. Practical guidelines for superintendents and the potential value of golf course naturalized roughs for monarch conservation will be publicized in national trade magazines, webinars, and news releases.
Effective start/end date8/11/168/10/18


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.