Gary’s Legacy: Monarchs and Milkweeds

There was once a man (you may have heard of him: Gary Young?) who overcame paralysis and difficulty and went on to not only improve his life but also the lives of millions of others. Along the way he empowered the underserved through the foundation that he established. Because of him, Ecuadorian children in the remote village of Chongon are receiving empowering educations, vulnerable people are escaping human trafficking, and people made homeless by earthquakes and other disasters are rebuilding.

Though he’s no longer with us, his legacy of rebuilding and empowering lives continues—and extends to nonhumans as well. As we reported in January’s Essential Edge, Young Living leads efforts to restore monarch butterfly habitats. And did you know you can help?

monarch butterfly on a yellow flower

Image by Bill Barlow from Pixabay

Monarch butterflies—those orange-and-black regulars of the skies between Canada and Mexico—contribute to the health of our planet in ways similar to other pollinators like birds, bats, and bees. We need pollinators, and arguably, they need us. Every year they migrate southward from Canada to more temperate climates, resting on milkweed plants wherever they can find them along the way. However, Utah’s Division of Wildlife reports that the Monarch butterfly populations in Utah and the West have declined from over a million butterflies in the late 1990’s to just 200,000 in recent years, based on overwintering counts of adult monarch butterflies in California by the Xerces Society, an international conservation nonprofit.

A monarch butterfly caterpillar on a milkweed plant leaf

A monarch butterfly caterpillar on a milkweed plant leaf. Image by Jenifer Kramer from Pixabay

This decline is due, in part, to a decline in milkweed plants. So Young Living planted milkweed at many of our U.S. locations, including our Global Headquarters in Lehi. If you’d like to join us in helping to rebuild the monarch butterfly population, here are some things you can do:

  • Plant milkweed in your own garden.
  • On Facebook, follow MonarchWatch or join the Saving the Monarch Butterfly public group for ideas on how to spread the word that monarchs need help.
  • Follow #monarchbutterfly on Twitter or Instagram to see what other people are doing and the beauty that monarchs bring to the world.
  • Download the Survey123 phone app/monarch survey on your phone and record monarch and milkweed information if you see them. Visit this post for more information on how to do so.
  • Donate to

Tyler Wilson, a Young Living scientist, said: “Next time you see a monarch butterfly, remember that it may have made a pit stop at a Young Living waystation.” Join us in supporting the resurgence of the monarch!

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