Fred Urquhart Memorial Garden


In 1975 Zoology Professor Fred Urquhart, CM, discovered the wintering place of the Monarch butterfly: Mexico’s Sierra Madre. The discovery was published in National Geographic magazine the following year.

 As a result of Professor Urquhart’s research, Mexican authorities set aside conservation areas in the Neovolcanic Plateau to serve as protected areas for the overwintering Monarch butterflies in 1979. 

Urquhart devoted 38 years to this research and enlisted thousands of citizen scientists to help with sightings. Together with his wife Norah, Urquhart tracked their trails by tagging the wings of thousands of individual butterflies. They founded the first Insect Migration Association, today known as Monarch Watch.

Dedicated on September 30, 2014, the Fred Urquhart Memorial Garden celebrates this groundbreaking research and a lifetime of dedication.

About the garden

As a true tribute to the Urquhart's legacy, the garden has been populated exclusively with flora that attract butterflies and help them thrive. The main species are Buddleja davidii, Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia, Sedum spectabile, which respectively are commonly known as Butterfly Bush, Butterfly Weed, Viette's Little Suzy, and Autumn Fire. The garden also hosts two water features, intended to create small puddles in the surrounding rocks, that are also attractive to butterflies. The garden currently features a memorial plaque which will be joined by an informational display.

Additional info

Urquhart library collection

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