InterVarsity Press is honored to be partnering with the DuPage County (IL) Monarch Project as a result of recent work done to their property’s landscaping. Continuing in their commitment to care for the environment, IVP replaced much of their landscaping with milkweeds and butterfly-friendly native plants and was recognized as an official monarch waystation in the county.
“InterVarsity Press has always had a commitment to environmentally responsible publishing through our use of recycled and FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] certified paper and our various recycling initiatives,” said Anne Gerth, director of operations and fulfillment for IVP, who oversaw the landscaping work. “Adding a native plant installation and prairie to our landscape further promotes ecosystem mindfulness within IVP and our surrounding community.”
In June IVP renovated their property’s landscaping, located amid an industrial park, in the hopes that it will contribute to the survival of monarch butterflies. Additionally, IVP incorporated a prairie planting to recognize that at one time more than 60 percent of Illinois was tallgrass prairie—today just over 2,000 high quality original prairie acres remain in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
“The monarch population has declined by up to 90 percent in recent years, and US Fish and Wildlife is currently considering listing it as an endangered species,” Lonnie Morris of the DuPage Monarch Project said. “Every bit of new habitat, as was planted at InterVarsity Press, plays a critical role in the protection of this beloved butterfly. Dupage Monarch Project is pleased InterVarsity Press has joined the local recovery effort with its new monarch friendly landscaping.”
IVP hopes that this installation will help members of the community reacquaint themselves with the original landscape of Illinois by getting to know some of its native plants. Included among the native grasses are prairie dock, compass plant, pale purple coneflower, and Culver’s root.
“As we watch these native flowers and grass grow and bloom through the season, we replicate a piece of our history,” said Jeff Crosby, IVP’s publisher. “These plants, once established, need less water because of their deep root systems—some of which plunge more than fifteen feet into the ground. They provide healthy habitat for many important pollinators and other insects."
“IVP has long published books on issues related to ecological concerns and caring for God’s creation,” Crosby continued. “This project is a tangible application of the ethics those books have espoused. And after nearly three decades in our building, it was time to freshen up our landscaping. So joining forces with a worthy cause such as the DuPage Monarch Project and planting Illinois native prairie plants was an added bonus as we undertook that.”
More information about the plight (and importance) of monarch butterflies can be found here: worldwildlife.org/species/monarch-butterfly.
For further information about the DuPage Monarch Project, please visit dupagemonarchs.com.