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The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail:  Connecting History and Nature

  Keynote Speaker – Dr. Chip Taylor

Chip Taylor is the Founder and Director of Monarch Watch, as well as a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas. Trained as an insect ecologist, Chip Taylor has published papers on species assemblages, hybridization, reproductive biology, population dynamics, and plant demographics and pollination. Starting in 1974, Chip Taylor established research sites and directed students studying Neotropical African honey bees (killer bees) in French Guiana, Venezuela, and Mexico.

In 1992, Taylor founded Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies. Since then, Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration. This program has produced many new insights into the dynamics of the monarch migration.

Realizing that habitats for monarchs were declining, Monarch Watch established the Monarch Waystation program in 2005 and the Bring Back the Monarchs program in 2010. The goal of these programs has been to inspire the public, schools and others to create habitats for monarch butterflies and to assist Monarch Watch in educating the public about the decline of resources for monarchs, pollinators, and all wildlife that share the same habitats.

Chip is on the Board of Governors for the Grassland Heritage Foundation, an organization devoted to prairie preservation and education, and also serves on the Steering Committees of Monarch Joint Venture and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. He also serves as an advisor to both “Make Way for Monarchs” and “Moving for Monarchs”. The latter is a dance, film, and photography project that promotes monarch conservation. Chip has also served as an advisor on many honey bee and monarch documentaries and films including “Flight of the Butterflies” and “Wings of Life”. Chip received a Growing Green Award from the National Resource Defense Council in 2014 for his work on behalf of monarch conservation.

Chip earned his Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

For additional information about the Weekend Event, go to

The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail Chip Taylor


There are 11 public gardens in Plains for visitors to enjoy this spring. We are looking forward to spring flowers and seeing butterflies in the gardens! Last year, we were pleased to see many different types of butterflies. The most common butterflies spotted in our gardens last year included swallowtails, monarchs, sulphurs, gulf fritillary, and skippers.

The gardens provided nectar and host plants for butterflies. We enjoyed seeing many black swallowtails and monarchs in the full life cycle.

The gardens on the trail in Plains include in-ground gardens as well as some container gardens. For information about joining the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail go to

Monarch butterfly

Monarch butterfly in one of the Plains gardens.

The Plains Georgia Welcome Center located 1 mile from downtown Plains is preparing to add a roadside garden. Old shrubs and plants have been removed and plans are underway to establish nectar and host plants to attract butterflies. A special emphasis will be placed on native milkweed being included to provide nectar as well as serving as a host plant for the full life cycle of the monarch.

We hope you will make plans to visit the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail this spring. For more information about the trail go to

monarch at the Carters garden wings spread

The Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail begins in Plains, Georgia at the home of President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter. The Carter’s garden contains nectar and host plants which provides habitat for butterflies common in our area.

We have 11 public gardens in Plains for visitors to enjoy as they tour historic Plains and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. Some of the gardens are small container gardens while others are in-ground gardens.

Maps are available downtown at the large Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail sign at the corner of Main and Hudson Street. You will also find information on how to join the trail online at We have private, public and school gardens on the list that are scattered around the United States, Japan and Canada.

Map of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail in Plains

Map of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail in Plains