You are invited to register your pollinator friendly garden.

What is the Trail?

Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Explained

The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail is a program inspired by Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to help increase habitat for Monarch Butterflies. The program is based in Plains, Georgia and has expanded throughout the United States as well as internationally.

What We Do

  • Educate: Once a year, we host an annual spring symposium in Plains, Georgia to inform the general public on what butterflies need to survive and how to plant butterfly-friendly gardens. This day program is comprised of presentations by experts in the field of gardening and organizations working to establish pollinator friendly habitats. Join the mailing list to get notifications of our next symposium and other special events we host.
  • Inspire: We want to inspire everyone to plant a butterfly-friendly garden – whether in a container, front yard, library grounds, school or at your place of business.
  • Increase Habitat for Pollinators:  Register your garden here. We list your garden’s name on this site along with the city and state in which it is located. That way, we can monitor all of our collective efforts to improve the migration route of the Monarch Butterfly Trail. Gardens on the trail are owned and maintained by the organization or person that registered it.

A presentation at the 2018 Spring Symposium.

How it Started

When Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter learned of the struggling Monarch Butterfly population and threatened migration from North America to Mexico, she called on her neighbor and friend Annette Wise for advice on planting the right native plants in her garden. When friends and neighbors in Plains learned what she was doing, they wanted to provide habitat in their gardens to help pollinators. Eventually, a “trail” started of butterfly gardens one house at a time, one church at a time, one library, one state, and so on.

The more butterfly gardens that exist, the greater the population of Monarch Butterflies which have been so threatened for the past several decades primarily due to the removal of milkweed plants from farms and properties. Monarch butterflies need milkweed on which to lay their eggs. Otherwise, the cycle of life for butterflies ends. All pollinators benefit from native nectar and host plants.

Public Butterfly Gardens in Plains, GA

In-ground garden with iron butterflies

Starting with Rosalynn Carter’s home in Plains, GA, see the list of neighbors, churches and businesses that started the trail inspiring this nation-wide effort.

School Butterfly Gardens

Sumter Middle School Garden

School gardens provide hands on experiences about habitat for pollinators.

Public Butterfly Gardens

Public Gardens

Check out the growing list of public libraries, governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and churches who have planted gardens welcoming butterflies across the country!

Private Butterfly Gardens

Private Gardens

Individuals and families who have planted butterfly gardens in their own backyards and private properties. Are you listed?