The Native Plant Society of Texas is designing and installing Monarch Waystations featuring native pollinator plants at Texas Department of Transportation highway rest stops in Hill County and Bell County in cooperation with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As described by Monarch Watch, Monarch Waystations are patches of habitat that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.
The gardens will be planted with native Texas milkweed and with native plants that are used as nectar sources by the migrating butterflies. Female monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweeds and a few other plants in the same plant family. Most of the monarch butterflies east of the Rocky Mountains migrate south to Mexico each winter and return north in the spring, traveling through Texas along a corridor that roughly matches the path of Interstate Highway 35.
In 2016 The Native Plant Society of Texas and others celebrated Texas Native Plant Week by beginning to build a Monarch Waystation in Hill County.
Thursday October 13 was Welcome the Monarchs Field Day at the Hill County Safety Rest Area, northbound on Interstate 35 (exit 362A). The public was invited to help with planting the waystations, and to visit staffed outreach booths on site. A smaller event was offered on Sunday October 16 at the southbound exit.