The Monarch butterfly population has been in decline, but the Illinois State insect is getting some unlikely help with their migration in the western suburbs. At the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, which features a Horticultural Gallery on their 150-acres of Audubon-certified grounds, waystations are attracting Monarchs on their annual trek south. Due to the spirited efforts of hotel staff and horticulturalist Karen Paquin, who has created an official on-site Monarch habitat, the beloved pollinator is dropping by in significant numbers.
“It’s encouraging to see so many Monarchs enjoy our beautiful grounds,” said Paquin, who spearheads the sustainable ecology program at Oak Brook Hills, an IACC Green Star/Gold Status hotel. “Our Horticultural Gallery not only educates guests on what’s in balance with our native region, but all these pollinators are helping the property’s ecosystem flourish.” The resort is also home to a successful Honeybee program, which includes several on-site hives that house close to a half million more pollinators.