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At Oleander Acres RV Resort in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, we care about all our winter visitors, including the Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus or milkweed butterfly) who grace us with their presence on their way to their winter retreats in Mexico.
We don't know if we are the only RV park in the Rio Grande Valley or South Texas to have planted milkweed and dedicated butterfly gardens, but we hope not. If every other RV park in the Rio Grande Valley planted milkweed, more Monarchs would survive. Monarchs fly through South Texas on their way to Mexico every year.
Monarchs are having a tough time. The Monarch population is down significantly from what it was a few years ago. In real terms, the 2013-14 Monarch population (if they all nested in the same place) covered about 0.67 hectares. In 1996-97 they covered 20.97 hectares. an average between those years was about 8 hectares.
All of our Winter Texans enjoy the natural habitat offered by Oleander Acres in deep South Texas.. Our butterfly gardens attract many more species of butterflies than Monarchs. The National Butterfly Center (just down the road in Mission) says there are 150 species of butterflies in the Rio Grande Valley. You are likely to see a rare butterfly outside your front door when you stay with us, in one of our butterfly garden lots in Mission, TX.
While the Monarch migration to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is not as spectacular as its counterpart in Mexico, South Texas is still an important stop for Monarchs. Oleander Acres is honored to be a stop on the butterfly tour sponsored by the National Butterfly Center in Mission, TX. We have several butterfly gardens in our RV park.
Milkweed is the Monarch butterfly's favorite food. Milkweed used to be common in the central USA and along the Interstate 35 corridor that runs along the Monarchs' migration route. Thats to Big Agriculture, milkweed is pretty much wiped out. When individual farmers (who used to make up the majority of the Winter Texan population) owned the land, they kept fence rows between their plots and let the wild milkweed grow. When corporations run huge farms, they doesn't need fence rows. But Monarchs do.
Even if you don't spend you winter or summer with us, please plant some milkweed so you can do your part in helping out this threatened national treasure.