“Monarchs in the Rough” at Glenview Park Golf Club

Can a round of golf help save the monarch butterfly? According to Monarchs in the Rough – an international initiative that works with golf courses to manage monarch butterfly habitats – a vital piece to the monarch’s lifecycle is the availability of milkweed, which thrives in many golf facility environments. As environmental stewards for the community, we at the Park District know the time to act and become part of the solution is now, as the monarch population has been declining by more than 90 percent throughout the last two decades.

This year, the Glenview Park Golf Club received $3,652 in funding from the Judy Beck Grant to launch our own partnership with Monarchs in the Rough. After the golf course was renovated in 2015, roughly 12 acres of naturalized areas were added to promote environmental conservation within Glenview’s

community. Through this grant, the club is now able to add a widespread half-acre of milkweed plants throughout the golf course with signage posted to highlight and educate on monarchs and these small ecosystems.

“This environmental conservation habitat will allow for the community and the golfer to experience the fascinating metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly,” said Todd Vermillion, Golf Course Superintendent.

Throughout the summer, the habitats will be monitored and seed pods will be generated as the milkweed begins to emerge. Monarchs then lay their eggs on these plants, and growing caterpillars eat the milkweed as they enter their cocoons. The cocoon remains in the plant until the adult butterfly emerges. In August, the butterflies begin their legendary 3000-mile migration journey to Mexico, and the milkweed plants will release their seeds in the fall as the plants begin to overwinter.

The Judy Beck Grant was established in 2020 to honor her environmental legacy in Glenview and 32-year service as park board commissioner. The grant program is funded by the Beck and Hurvis families and administered by the Glenview Park District and Beck Family Foundation.