Landscaping Draws Butterflies to U.S. Courthouse

Exterior long shot of Hammond U.S. Courthouse with sustainable landscaping in foregroundAs if in celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 15-21), Monarch, Karner Blue, and other rarities flock to Hammond.

Nationwide counts of Monarch butterflies are way down, but Monarchs, a rare Karner Blue, Swallowtails, and other butterflies are appearing in the sustainable landscaping of the U.S. Courthouse in Hammond, Indiana.

Close-up of female Karner Blue butterfly on a green stalkUnder Executive Order 13514, GSA has stepped up efforts to protect and support pollinator populations during construction and renovation projects nationwide. Now fully established, the sustainable landscaping of the Hammond Courthouse, opened in 2002, is one success story (see photo gallery of sustainable landscapes across the Great Lakes Region).

"The more food sources they find will help this species recover," said Rich Falzone, Courthouse Property Manager and a Master Gardener. "Over the last couple of years, GSA here in Hammond has been trying to maintain a self-sustaining natural habitat with suitable butterfly host plants." 

Close-up of wild lupine plant in gardenTropical and common milkweed, dill, butterfly weed, and wild lupine are among the courthouse's butterfly smorgasbord.

"Wild lupine is native to the area and the only plant the Karner Blue female will lay her eggs on and the caterpillars can survive on," Falzone said. "We've had only limited success here in Hammond with growing these Lupine plants but will continue our efforts this summer."

National Pollinator Week, June 15-21, has been designated by the U.S. Senate, Dept. of Agriculture, and Interior.

Close-up of butterfly feeding on a purple coneflower in HammondClose-up of Swallowtail butterfly being released in Hammond

Last Reviewed 2015-06-22