65 Robert Coffin and Josh Loy – Teeing off with Monarch Butterflies (in English)

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Speaker 1: From the Oregon State University Extension Service, this is Pollination, a podcast that tells the stories of researchers, land managers, and concerned citizens making bold strides to improve the health of pollinators. I'm your host, Dr. Adoni Melopoulos, assistant professor in pollinator health in the Department of Horticulture. As you might have heard in previous episodes, golf courses can play a really important role in pollinator health.

And today I'm so excited that we have an episode talking about a fantastic success story here in Oregon. Earlier this month, Stuart Meadows Golf Course in Medford, Oregon became Oregon's first golf course with certified monarch butterfly waystations. This effort came about through a great partnership between the golf course and one of Oregon's most active pollinator protection groups, the Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates. And you might recall we had an episode with Tom Landis from SOMA earlier in the year. In this episode, we hear about how this partnership came about, how to create certified monarch waystations, and how Stuart Meadows is integrating these waystations into their courses. We're hoping this is going to be a great model for other golf courses, especially in Southern Oregon where we have that important monarch migration to the West Coast taking place.

Hope you enjoy the episode. Welcome to pollination, you guys. We're on opposite ends of the states. I'm actually in Astoria today and you're all the way down in Southern Oregon. So the wonders of technology.

Speaker 2: Yeah, exactly. How's the smoke out there? I bet you have zero smoke.

Speaker 1: Oh, yeah, there's no smoke here. It's nice. I'm sorry, guys.

Speaker 2: Okay. Well, last week, Stuart Meadows announced that it is the first golf course in Oregon to have a certified monarch waystation. And so to start with, can you explain, maybe just explain the idea of what a waystation is and why it's important?

Speaker 3: Well, Josh, I'll go ahead and take that as one of the co-founders of Southern Oregon Monarch. So one of the fabulous things about a monarch's waystation is they don't have to be gigantic patches of land. Monarchs, as probably most of the listeners know, are brought up as caterpillars first and the caterpillars only eat one thing. Milkweed. If the milkweed in our country is gone, every single one of the monarchs is gone.

It's that simple. So a waystation, there are four components to these waystations that we like to build that actually provide habitat, not just for the monarchs and other pollinators that come in to set the nectar, but provides the post plants of those caterpillars and also grow in lunch and poop away and then go into their chrysalis and hatch into the beautiful monarchs that everybody lost, kind of iconic old days. They need more things. The milkweed, which I just brought up. Second of all, they need the nectar plants for the adults to come on in and set nectar so that they can grow and migrate, continue to migrate. Thirdly, they need some kind of water source. It doesn't have to be a giant water source. It can be a moist area. And fourth, some tree canopy or higher habitat because monarchs roost kind of like chickens do every night. So if you're seeing all this, you can see it can be a very small thing the size of someone's kitchen outdoors. And having more of them, even though they're small, is a great thing to have for migrating populations of monarchs as they cruise through Southern Oregon and move up your way and get up into Washington and even as far up as British Columbia, the southern area of Canada. Okay.

Speaker 1: So this is, we're talking about a multi-purpose, when it comes to the butterflies, it's serving multiple aspects of its life history. And it just doesn't have to be big. One can put one of these in and you don't have to like, you know, massive restoration. This is something that could fit in a lot of different places in Southern Oregon.

Speaker 3: Oh, there are waystations that are, sure, schools, libraries, my waystations, my wife and my, we have a big one in our front yard and a small one in our backyard. And then there are community-scale waystations where they are on a couple of acres and they're along pedestrian pathways. So folks with their baby carriages can cruise by and see what's going on and watch all the other colonies and butterflies. And finally, there are some pretty significant regional habitat restoration efforts. I wouldn't even call them waystations that are more in the upland areas the rural areas and the wild areas. And they're all, I recently, the one of them are super helpful for the monarchs and all the other pollinators.

Speaker 1: Josh, maybe tell us a little bit about the process by which the waystation came about on the golf course. How did this idea get hatched and how did we get to this point?

Speaker 2: Well, the idea came to us from Robert, who is the expert. That's what we call him, the butterfly expert.

Speaker 1: Oh, brother. Own it.

Speaker 2: He's an expert. I think he mentioned the idea to Edward as well first. And then the three of us got together and when I went to Edward, I thought, well, I was informed about this. I really had very little idea what the waystation was. And looking into it after Robert had explained pretty much what he just told you, I took that thought, you know, it could be a good thing for the golf course.

But I was a little bit hesitant about a lot of the milkweed is a weed. And how does that? How is that going to affect the course and the turf grass for golfers? Because we try to limit the number of weeds that are on the golf course.

Speaker 3: Right. You should explain to him what caused you to jump.

Speaker 2: Well, that's what I was just getting. So after the weeds, thinking about that, I went home and I thought about it more. And I really thought I had not seen any modern butterfly for a long time. When I was a kid growing up in Medford, outskirts in the Griffin Creek area every summer, probably in grade school, I think we would go find caterpillars out in the ditches in front of our house, and collect them in a jar, wash them, do their thing, keep them fed.

Wait till they go through their metamorphosis, become a monarch, and release them into the backyard. And it was very. It was very interesting to me and I took it for granted at that time because I just never thought about it. So I have a 13-year-old son and after Robert brought this up to me, I thought I hadn't seen a monarch butterfly in a long time.

I asked my son who's grown up here, always wanted, you know, what a monarch butterfly is. And he said he thinks so. And I said, well, have you seen one? And he said he thinks so. And I really, I don't know if he's ever seen one.

And then it dawned on me. Anything we can do to help kids around Southern Oregon experience what I and other kids my age did when we were six, seven, eight, nine, 10, and 11 years old. If we can bring the monarchs back, more of them. Yeah, let's do this. And then I got serious about it. So we talked more about it.

Really, how easy it is. There's some expense to it, but the golf course, we looked at it. There there's on every golf course, I think a superintendent can take a look and see that there is space that is not used for anything other than growing grass. Golfers don't use it for that's part of the course. It's maintenance to keep the grass down and keep it tidy. We picked spots by five spots like that and turned them into the way stations which adds beauty to the course. And it's giving we're giving back to the monarchs so that they find us and do their thing and we will maintain the way stations. And it's part of what we do anyway. The maintenance part of it is golf course maintenance.

That's what's wrong with maintaining. Oh, probably 4500 to 5000 square feet total in in-way stations. I hope that answers the question of how it really came about to put them onto the golf course. A lot of it for me was just thinking about my childhood and wanting to give that experience to kids growing up now.

Speaker 1: Oh, no, I think that's great. And I think the, you know, the other thing with golf courses that's remarkable is you have thousands of people coming through the golf course and probably start asking questions about what's that beautiful flowering patch up there. Josh and Edward both made me laugh earlier because there was a lot of nervousness. But you wait till you see these hands on one of these days.

Speaker 3: I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, it's true. Well, one of them is right at the base of a beautiful quite tree. Oh, wow. And now there are flowers. It's this little spot pops because the golf course was predominantly grass, grass trees, and water features. And now there's these flesh colors.

So for me, I see them on our cabinet and I love it. But I was also I've golfed before and know a bit about golf courses as well. And we were picking these places. So more recently, we're cruising around on one of the golf courts talking about all looks good. And this looks like it's going to work out. OK, and these guys are talking about, oh, look, here's a whole other area. Edward, what do you think about putting in something here and there? Let's do that next year. And I'm just sitting there smiling.

Speaker 1: That's fantastic. Well, coming back to your original concern, I mean, it is turf management is a very, very intricate task. It's you have a lot of moving pieces. How did you deal with your concern about weed pressure? I think that's probably, you know, other superintendents who are listening to the episode are probably having the same concern. Tell us about how you thought through that problem.

Speaker 2: Well, since these are new and they have not spread rapidly yet, not sure if this will work. Pretty confident. We talked about it the best way to handle that. And we did dig out sections where we put edging around the way stations. But that's not going to stop rhizomes from the milkweed from growing wherever they want to. And they're all around grass. So Robert had mentioned mowing and we took into consideration the width of a mower having to be able to get access around the way station. So what we can do is we can mow basically right up to the edge of the way station, which we will just cut down any rhizomes that pop up milkweed and keep it down that way. We're mowing anyway. We're keeping the grass a certain cut. So I think right now we have several other weeds that we need to be more concerned about than milkweed.

We got a lot of crabgrass. And we're pulling it. And so we feel pretty confident we can manage it. Time will tell.

But I think we set it up to where it's definitely doable. And again, for me, I think the color that will bring to the golf course and what it'll do for the bees and the butterflies is much more important than worrying about a few extra scregulars of milkweed coming up three or four feet outside their designated boundaries.

Speaker 1: So that's a great point. So a part of the design feature is making sure that these features are mobile, that you can get all around them and make sure that it's as easily mitigatable and also just kind of giving a bit of a buffer. That allows you to sort of deal with that and get all the benefits of having these beautiful flowers and the butterflies on the course.

Speaker 2: Yeah, a little bit of planning helps. But like I said, we're still early on. So after a year or two, we'll know what we're really doing. I don't see it being an issue where it's going to take over the golf course or certain areas. I think we can stay on top of it. If we have to pull a few that have gone astray, that's fine. It's we're out there anyway. We're in the maintenance business. We're weeders. Good point. So it's no different than treating around trees and pulling weeds.

Speaker 1: We'll see. Right. The other thing, just one other thing that you mentioned, I thought was really good. And when we started talking about this is when you and Robert were starting to talk about this, the idea of starting small and kind of getting some experience was a kind of key long-term plan for you. Maybe talk a little, Robert and Josh, maybe talk a little bit more about that idea of kind of learning how to do this, not by doing something huge right off the bat, but kind of figuring out doing it in a staged manner.

Speaker 3: Well, I loved that this was definitely their approach. And I loved it. They wanted our input. We helped them with these mini-planting plans. We selected the plants for them to start small, looking at the waters, not the issue on the golf course.

Sometimes it's that there's too much water inside an exposure and things like that. So their view was, okay, so many people that seem to know a little bit about this, help us set up these small things. Another thing I wanted to mention, not only as far as having people up from it to help with a good plan to get it set up in place is, I forgot my lost my train of thought. I'll come back. It's very important, but I'll come back to it.

Speaker 1: So maybe Robert, just tell us a little bit about what it means to, it's a certified Monarch way station. What does that certification mean?

Speaker 3: Oh boy, am I glad you asked that because I think most listeners know, there are certainly other golf courses that are on the pollinator bandwagon. And it is wonderful. I want to just underscore that good for all of you who are daring to, you know, cross over some boundaries and try some things like this.

A way meant for everybody. Laurel would, they're a new gene with just trying to create an organic type of a golf horse and some that you just mentioned. So I love all that. But the little difference, the thing that I am so happy that Stuart Meadows can grow about is, that there is a national organization called Monarch. What perhaps you've heard of it.

It's not only in the United States is throughout the whole North American continent. And they're really big on education, conservation, and research. And part of Monarch Watch's program is to help create these Monarch Way stations. And they have a GIS map layer and you can quote, and certify your way stations.

And I'll tell you what that means. But once they're certified, you can name them. You can then have them loaded onto their GIS layer. And you can go to our watch and you can look all over the entire country. And you can click on one and go, ah, there's mine. Or I wonder what, oh, there's one down there in Mexico.

Who is that? And of course, the data come up and you can read about it and so on. They also provide what type of location are you in. Are you home? Are you a school? Are you large? Are you small? And one of the questions is, are you a golf course? And I am so proud to say that in the entire Monarch Watch, which has now exceeded 20,000-way stations, Stuart Meadows Golf Course is the first certified Monarch way station for a golf course in the entire state of Oregon. And it has possibly even, let's throw in Washington, Idaho, and Nevada as well.

Speaker 1: Fantastic, you guys. That's great. Well, I'd say it'd be great to see more, but it really sets the stage for how amazing your commitment is in the...

Speaker 3: Right and the certification process isn't onerous. They ask questions like, what are you planting? They suggest natives and are they flowering at certain times? They have questions about your use of herbicides and pesticides. And a few questions like that. And you're provided with some signage if you want.

So show that you're certified and get a certificate, which I will be presenting to the superintendent sitting next to me at our sign unveiling coming up to Fridays from now.

Speaker 1: By the time listeners listen to this episode, that will have taken place. And it will... So we're recording this a little bit before the unveiling, but we are all anticipating this event. This is going to be magnificent. So, okay.

So maybe let's take a quick break. Thanks for giving us the background on certification. Oh, actually, before we take a break, what does it mean to be certified? Like you said, it's not an onerous process, but what does certification entail? What do you have to do to be certified?

Speaker 3: Well, like I said, you go online at Mark watch and they have a questionnaire asking you questions about, oh, you know, where are you and all that? But tell us your plan list, provide the plans you're going to provide.

Are you going to continue to maintain? Do you use different pesticides or herbicides? And of course, location and so on. And once you run through a little form and pay a fee, a nominal fee, you can become certified. Okay.

Speaker 1: Oh, so this is something other golf courses could certainly get involved with?

Speaker 3: Yes, it certainly could. And like I said, it's other golf courses may have fabulous pollinator habitats, but this is just one of those things that helps keep you plugged in with other monarch aficionados throughout the whole country, including other golf courses.

There are, I think I went online, and there might be about 170 of those that are certified, but like I said, none over here in the Pacific Northwest. The other thing I want to mention before we take a break, we were talking about maintenance and not eating. And for us monarch advocates, we've learned with these way stations that maintenance is the killer. A lot of people love to build way stations and then put the plants in and everybody feels good and they rub their hands together and they feel like they did a great thing.

And they did. But so many way stations or pollinator habitats just completely go awry because there's no maintenance for a few years. And that was one of our big issues when we first came to talk with Stuart Meadows. And why we like the concept of the golf course is, as Josh mentioned, maintenance is what they do and they're committed. They want their golf course to stay nice looking. They care about the monarchs and I can just tell that these way stations, there is one heck of an effort already being put into how they're doing this first year. I know that's just going to continue. And that's a great calling card for the success of Monarch Habitat.

Speaker 1: Well, that's great. Let's take a break and talk a little bit more about the nuts and bolts of getting the habitat established and where the habitat is located on golf courses. Let's take a minute here and be right back. Okay, so we are back.

You've emphasized the importance of learning how to establish these plots. Can you tell us what was involved? How do you get these specific waystations established? What was the process? When did you start? Go through the cultivation steps for us.

Speaker 2: To answer when we started, I marched.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think the discussion started earlier with us and I think we factored in. Josh, you can talk about what we had to factor in this is a golf course where we are a profit-making golf course. So we need to figure out where will this work from our perspective and then someone came in with okay and how we make this successful from the modern perspective and the plant perspective.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think March, as when we started talking about it, and really without the help of Robert, Tom, and Susie, I would never have been able to handle this on my own. So they're their information and knowledge made everything so much easier.

Speaker 1: Maybe just start with the site prep. How did you see you had a piece of turf or you had some grass in the rough? How did you determine the first step in kind of selecting?

Speaker 3: Yeah, how did you start with a piece of grass, and then how did you what was the preparation step?

Speaker 2: With Robert's help in explaining what we need to have and Tom knows and Susie both of them showed what I thought might work and they showed the positives and the negatives about soil and what may be in the soil and will be productive for plant growth. We narrowed it down to I think it might have been four spots and we ended up doing five. It might have been six.

We did it back down to five. But for me, it was here we had a patch of grass on the grass. It doesn't get used. We have to mow it.

What if we convert this into at that time I'm thinking it's a flower bed? It's going to bring it's going to have more color to it. We have a couple of ladies' golf leagues that play twice a week and Robert had mentioned earlier the common color from the first key to the last green on the golf course is green unless you're in fall playing golf when you do see some changes of color in the deciduous trees. So you have a more constant color variety on the golf course picking locations that we didn't use. We had to mow if we put them there we don't have to mow. So that's less maintenance on the mower and adds color to the course.

Speaker 1: I wanted to know more about the question so you had these plots you picked them out. How did you get the grass out to start with before you started putting it in?

Speaker 2: Well it was pretty simple. I just took out a can of spray paint and drew. I think we flagged first. We flag a perimeter.

Speaker 3: Yes. So first we identified the sites and from my end, it was okay solid exposure. We need full sun. What about water and so on? And then we also started talking about planting numbers and getting them ordered so that there would be enough on time. In the meantime go ahead Josh do your spray paint.

Speaker 2: We flagged things off. I came up with a pattern for each one. Spray painted that out. Took an edger. Drugged down about three to four inches into the ground with a cut line. Took an excavator out there and we scraped off about four maybe I'd say three to five inches of sod and soil. Then we brought in a super special secret mix of topsoil plus which is made at a local landscape supply company. Fantastic. It's topsoil with a little bit of organic matter in it.

Speaker 3: Gee I didn't know that so top secret topsoil.

Speaker 2: Yep that's right. And it was a relatively simple process. Part of the landscaping background and the crew came out and of each of us and we spread that. We put in the plants and then I think we put about a two to three-inch cover of bark mulch over the top of all of that.

Speaker 3: Let me just chime in to help with the plants. Our botanist Susie Savoy came out to help lay out the plants again with the perspective of the look the elevation and color all of that. For a golf course, it's not just about the monarchs here it's about the aesthetics of the course so that was kind of fun and

Speaker 2: there was one spot that was a little concerning to me that we have it's on the eighth hole. We have a blue teabox and a white teabox and the blue teabox is slightly elevated above the white teabox with an omelette bow. Ten-yard separation between the two and so there's a slope that goes from one to the other and on that slope you can't utilize it as a teabox.

It's it was kind of out of the way to mow and I'd always wanted to put something there I just never knew what so this came up and I thought let's this this might work. My question to Robert first about that was how tall are these going to get? Are they jack-in-the-bean stock-type milkweed? Are they sunflower height?

What's going to happen? Did any of you mention that some will grow taller than others? My concern is separating the two teaboxes from the height of the plant directly in front of the teabox we've got some golfers who were pretty good out here we have a lot of golfers who are happy when they get the ball in the air. And so we did coordinate to put the taller growing species off to the sides and created kind of a tunnel effect. There's a walkway to the teabox it's a it's a mows strip of grass that goes from one teabox to the other so you walk right between the the waystations and then as you look down the fairway to teabox you can see the taller plants are on the left and the right and towards the center are the smaller species and it worked out very well and Robert did explain that milkweed especially is a pretty hardy plant if it gets hit or kicked that it will it'll grow back it's it's like any other weed you don't want it won't go away so that that helped out and so we went with that being that that was a spot that could use some color and I think it turned out very well and we've had a lot of compliments from day one the first day we put a shovel on the ground just about every other golfer out there asked us what we were doing and when we explained it to them there are some other questions that I had in the beginning well what the heck's a waystation but let me let me tell you all about it and they either uh sat and listened or they said you know I gotta go find my balls so I don't know I'm somewhere interested somewhere and then we did a very similar thing on the eighth teabox for the ladies we already had an existing garden not much of a garden a flower garden and we we put about a four foot wide arc extension around that garden and put in a waystation and signage and it actually you can stand on the ladies tea and it it's right in your line of sight off to the left

Speaker 1: and so this becomes an opportunity for being able to provide education as well there are some people who are just like the color and or you know see it as a golfing challenge but I imagine there are some people as well that you've had people come up and ask you and this is an entry point just thinking about your motivations with your son and just being able to see these some golfers are interested so you have some signage and are there other elements of using these as an educational element

Speaker 3: I'm glad you asked that because we also have some great large-scale signs I mentioned how the Mark Watch certification program gives you a little oh about an eight-inch wide by a 12-inch tall sign saying congratulations and so on but you should see the signs that that Stuart Meadows has put up beautiful colorful signs that say here is a monarch waystation and they're strategically placed as Josh mentioned that we had to worry about well we don't want them or golfers will hit them but yeah I just caught the outreach because as people are going by it's an eye catcher and they're right next to the waystations there's three of them not we didn't put them on all five white stations but these teabox areas that Josh mentioned is where a couple of them are so every single golfer will walk by this lovely sign that's outside of their golf swing but that's very informative and colorful as well and I'm very happy that they decided to put that in from the outreach perspective.

Speaker 2: When I first saw the sign I forgot how big when Robert delivered it to us I forgot how big they were and in my hands, I thought well geez every airplane flying over is going to know what we're doing.

Oh come on they're just perfect I'll tell you what when you put them in they know what they're doing they made them exactly the right size you can read it from two feet away and you can read it from 50 feet away it's enough to attract your attention they bring you over and the literature on the sign is excellent it's great quality great information we're happy to have those signs out there they sealed the deal on the waystation installation.

Speaker 1: Okay so what's next for Stewart Meadows and pollinators I know Robert you need to get going and I did want to get an update on Monarch's situation with the Western Monarchs but what's what's next for Stewart Meadows to begin with? Well Stewart Meadows is the golf course but he is also the Stewart Meadows development which

Speaker 2: There is another 98 acres adjacent to the golf course which is under development right now and throughout that property, we have a creek that runs and divides the majority on it and along that creek, Robert has put in some waystations and Mike actually Mike has.

Speaker 3: Well let's let's back up not quite right yet. Okay so to chime in with Josh I've been involved with the Stewart Meadows development and one of the first of all one of the best thing is this 85 acre development in the most urbanized area southern Oregon there was a ridiculous beat up old stream completely incised running along fence edges full of invasive weeds could have been buried had to do something with it instead of trying to fix it they actually relocated an entire small stream and insinuosity to it creating slope and hydrologic connection all this cool stuff so it's already great and it's going to be a win-win for the community it helps our riparian folks and it also I hope adds tremendous value to the community well Edward Estelle the VP of development and co-gap enterprises Inc. who had wind of this whole thing for the golf course and liked to walk before they run said we're liking we want to put in more of these monarch waystation pollinator habitats sprinkled in throughout the entire new development along the riparian area so to me that is a wonderful next step not only for the golf course but for all the monarchs and our entire community it's just wonderful and it's going to be working with people that can see that kind of far-reaching view

Speaker 1: and Robert maybe just to wrap up any news on the western population of monarchs you I think you were mentioning to me that there's some fortunes not some great news

Speaker 3: yes I do have news I would call it breaking news but sad news Anthony most people know that the plight of the monarch and all of our pollinators has really plummeted over the last few years from the 90s some people quote as much as a 90% decline in monarch existence but this year has been very disquieting for some reason this year people aren't seeing the monarchs very much and any listeners out there probably will be agreeing what it looks like is happening is there are very few monarchs that were overwintering down in the California area that seem to take off and start their northward migration and as most of you probably know southern Oregon is super important it's really like the first stepping stone or the first link in the chain where the monarchs stop not just to have a sip of nectar but to reproduce and start that next generation that keeps migrating northward of your way and up into Washington well some are making it but it's really hit or miss all of our monarch advocates are reporting and you might hear 12 people say I haven't seen hardly any monarchs and then one person will say oh I've got all kinds of so it looks like the monarchs are migrating northward however uh David James who is the director of the entire Pacific Northwest Monarch cagging program to track the the western monarch population just posted last night something that really underscores the problem this year he monitors a particular site it's called Crab Creek over in central Washington and that he goes to every year the same day for the last six years to monitor observation of monarchs and it's a 60 acre milkweed site so it's a great one to go just check well the last six years oh 2014 51 monarchs 2016 72 monarchs last year 66 monarchs this year same day same place zero

Speaker 1: monarchs oh no yeah

Speaker 3: so we aren't really sure why everyone is wondering and you know pontificating a little bit about it but we're really not sure what but it just underscores the need for all of us to be talking like we are for golf courses to be coming on board and saying yeah we want to be a part of this we want to help restore if we can we don't know how it all is going to work but we've got to put our best books out and I think all of this is a part of

Speaker 2: right I you know Robert mentioned earlier that Stuart Meadows is the only registered way station in or again possibly Washington Nevada and Ohio we don't want to be this is all new to me it was intimidating maybe at first just because you don't want to do anything that's going to mess up the golf course that golfers are going to feel that this is this is not comfortable or or anything and but I think it's worked out well it is it's fairly simple to do we talked earlier about what how we decided to put what where we did come across problems with plants though we had trouble finding some plants some milkweed is in very short supply so if somebody's going to do it plan ahead very good like I said you know we don't want to be the only golf course you're doing this it's a great idea I think it's great it's something golfers can talk about something we all talk about really it raises a lot of questions and when I don't have the answers which is a lot of the time I send those people Robert's away and he loves to talk about how better flies so he can educate them I can help with the what it took to put them on to install them on the golf course he's good at butterfly questions I we've talked as our crew we as we put these in the phrase it started going around was if you build it they will come

Speaker 3: so your staff your staff were a bit

Speaker 2: reluctant at first yeah it's uh oh here's another crazy idea but they've all put their time and effort into it and they all appreciate it and every day I get reports from our staff of four that they haven't seen a monarchy yet they've seen some swallowtail which is that count I said no we're looking for monarchs Josh it still counts it's still count that's good

Speaker 1: Well I do I do think there is something you know about golf course superintendents and workers you guys have a lot of experience and know how to use equipment and know how to do a lot of this stuff so it seems like these examples in this kind of learning curve and kind of working it out the golf course superintendents I've met are really up for challenges and can solve a lot of problems so it's just like laying this out for people to start with can really help them wrap their minds around it and they can they'll innovate and figure things out once they can see it's possible

Speaker 2: right and like Robert said it doesn't have to be a grand scale effort you can start very small and see what happens you can it can cost whatever you want it to cost I feel but anything will help I'm with Robert and we do need to see more monarchs bring them back give them the place to hang out

Speaker 3: so speaking of that I have a great idea for you Josh and pass this on to Edward and all the other golfers why not have let's have a penalty let's if a golfer hits a golf ball and it goes into a weight station couldn't that cost them a stroke could we set that up

Speaker 2: you mean they're not allowed to set foot in it are we uh how about if they hit the hand and throw it

Speaker 1: I can just see this becoming part of uh yeah golf is always changing there's no the monarch okay well anyways I'll let you guys scheme on how to change the rules of golf according to butterflies but it's been really wonderful uh sitting down with you today and learning about this really fantastic innovative step that you've taken that uh Sturt Meadows thank you so much for your time and looking forward to catching up with you in the future

Speaker 2: all right thank you, Anthony

Speaker 3: yes thank vice versa to you and thank you for hearing the message forward

Speaker 1: Thanks so much for listening show notes with information discussed in each episode can be found at pollinationpodcast.oregonstate.edu we'd also love to hear from you and there are several ways to connect for one you can visit our website to post episode-specific comment suggest a future guest or topic or ask a question that could be featured in a future episode you can also email us at [email protected] finally you can tweet questions or comments or join our Facebook or Instagram communities just look us up at osu pollinator health if you like the show consider letting iTunes know by leaving us a review or rating it makes us more visible which helps others discover pollination see you next week

In past episodes, we have highlighted the important role golf courses play in pollinator health. In today’s episode, we talk about a fantastic success story here in Oregon. Earlier this month, Stewart Meadows Golf Course in Medford, Oregon became Oregon’s first golf course with certified Monarch Butterfly Waystations. This effort came about through a great partnership between the golf course and one of Oregon’s most active pollinator protection group, the Southern Oregon Monarchs Advocates. In this episode, we hear about how the partnership came about, how to create certified Monarch Waystations, and how Stewart Meadows integrated the waystations into their course.

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“We want to put in more of these monarch waystations and pollinator habitats. To me, that is a wonderful next step, not only for the golf course, but for all the monarchs and our entire community.” – Robert Coffin

Show Notes:

  • What a monarch waystation is and why it’s important
  • What got Robert and Josh started in working on them
  • How the waystations benefit both the butterflies and the golf courses where they reside
  • How weed pressure has been dealt with on the course
  • What other types of waystations exist outside of golf courses
  • What it means when a monarch waystation is certified
  • How you can get your own waystation certified
  • The importance of maintenance with waystations and pollinator habitats
  • How the plots of land were prepared before becoming a waystation
  • How waystations have become a way of educating the public on pollinators
  • Why the monarch population has gotten so low this year in particular

“Anything we can do to help kids experience what I and other kids my age did when we were [younger], if we can bring more of the monarch’s back, let’s do this.” – Josh Loy

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