Monarchs in the Rough: Blue Ash Golf Course working to boost butterfly population

BLUE ASH, Ohio (WKRC) – You may have noticed more monarch butterflies than usual this year.

There’s a reason for that: There’s a national effort underway to save the species, and part of that is being done at the Blue Ash Golf Course.

Tucked between the first and 18th holes at the Blue Ash Golf Course, monarch butterflies are flourishing.

“There’s several different kinds of flowers that they are just attracted to by the color, but milkweed is the key for monarchs. You’ve got to have milkweed for their survival,” said Blue Ash Golf Course Superintendent Scott Kincaid.

Their survival depends on this tiny little slice of green space and many like it around the country. Blue Ash is one of 700 golf courses taking part in a national program called Monarchs in the Rough. The goal is to help revive the monarch population.

“Definitely seen an increase in the monarch population here. If you spend a little time here, you’ll see some flying around,” said Kincaid.

The butterfly is at risk of extinction. Audubon International, an environmental conservation organization, says the monarch population has declined by 90% over the last 20 years.

So far, Kincaid says the extra milkweed seems to be working.

“You just encounter them throughout the property. Driving around, you see them,” said Kincaid.

Kincaid first heard about the program at a golf trade show in 2019 and couldn’t wait to bring it home.

“I talked with them for a little bit. It sounded like it was a win-win for us in the Monarch. So we signed up; we seeded this last year. This is the results this year, and they’ve been phenomenal for us,” said Kincaid.

Milkweed season is nearing its end, but there are still blooming flowers and full pods ready to spread seed.

“Still a little color left, but this is seeding for next year. The flowers have been pollinated and the seeds are maturing and they’re going to fall into the ground and then will be next year‘s crop of flowers. More butterflies, hopefully,” Kincaid said.

If you’d like to help save the monarch butterfly, click here.