A butterfly sanctuary is now located along the Urban Wilderness Trail in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. Community organizations recently created the sanctuary with the help of many volunteers.
The sanctuary is composed of more than 2,600 pollinator-friendly native plants and shrubs, including milkweed.
“The monarch caterpillar can only eat from one type of plant — the milkweed plant — which is why we planted that in the area along the White River," says Ashley Haynes with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. "If the milkweed plant doesn’t exist in an area then the monarch caterpillar cannot live and there are no monarch butterflies.”
Aaron Stump, of the Indiana Wildlife Federation, says it will take time for things to flourish.
“In a couple of years I’d expect to see a lot of these new flowers. To be honest hadn’t seen any of along the trail," Stumps says. "There are some entirely new species that really belong down there and will look great down there.”
The Urban Wilderness Trail stretches five miles from White River State Park past 10th street, to the south side of Fall Creek and along the east side of White River.