Central Meadow

Over the past several years, the Friends of Greenview and Pioneer Nature Area have been restoring the meadow at Greenview. Annual controlled burns and other methods are being used to eradicate invasive species and woody shrubs. This combination of management techniques has reduced the decades-old populations of persistent woody invasive shrubs, and native wildflowers and grasses have begun to reclaim this open spaces.

The Central Meadow is now a vibrant habitat featuring many native wildflowers such as Mountain mint, Ironweed, Black-eyed Susan, several types of goldenrod, aster, milkweed, and coneflower. These native forbs and grasses attract many types of birds and insects, including many species of butterflies and moths.

As part of restoration efforts, the meadows have been seeded forbs and with four native prairie grass species: Big Bluestem, Indian grass, Little Bluestem, and Switchgrass. Grasses provide food and refuge for birds, reptiles, and many insects.


More than 50 species of butterflies have been observed at Greenview. Butterflies commonly found at the Central Meadow include Cabbage White, Little Wood Satyr, Pearl Crescent, Clouded and Orange Sulphur, Monarch, Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed-Blue, and many types of skippers.

Butterfly and Wildflower Tour

Friends of Greenview organize an annual “Butterfly and Wildflower Tour” at the nature area. Local guides, including members of the North American Butterfly Association, lead the tour and facilitate the observation of butterflies and wildflowers. Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive event notifications, or follow us on Facebook

Butterfly Study

For over 20 years, Professor John Swales and other members of the North American Butterfly Association have conducted annual butterfly counts in the meadow areas at Greenview. The annual studies report that butterfly populations observed from year to year at Greenview are fairly stable. However, continued meadow management is important to prevent the encroachment of woody invasives.

Greenview Butterfly Report – 2023 Season

Greenview Nature Area Butterflies 2023

John Swales & Marcy Breslow

We made 19 visits this year (about average), starting on April 15 and finishing on October 1. We were sometimes accompanied by Judy Labato, Karen Schulte and Bill Swerdlik so that we had better coverage than usual. Thirty-five species were found (about average) but the number of individuals found (1035) was the lowest total over the last 25 years, the main reason being a serious drop in numbers of some of the commonest species, such a Peck’s and European Skippers and, especially, Common Wood Nymph. The decline in these species was not confined to Greenview, but was noted throughout the region. Very few immigrants made it to Washtenaw County this reason. Monarchs (40 sightings) had an average season. One of the few species to be found in above average numbers was the Black Swallowtail with an annual total of 45. Details follow:

SpeciesTotalRange of dates  Maximum Seen
Cabbage White3254/15—10/132 on 7/25
Little Wood Satyr1196/1—7/2047 on 6/1
Pearl Crescent775/13—10/116 0n 7/25
Clouded Sulphur745/13—10/114 on 10/1
Peck’s Skipper606/1—10/121 0n 9/1
Black Swallowtail455/13—10/17 on 7/20
Least Skipper48              6/8—9/1   12 0n 8/10
Monarch407/6—10/19 0n 7/25
Ringlet376/1—9/1   18 on 6/1
Checkered Skipper     346/1—9/16 on 8/27
Orange Sulphur266/17—10/18 on 9/14
C. Wood Nymph256/12—9/15 on 3 occasions
Eastern Tailed-Blue237/8—10/15 0n 8/10
European Skipper166/7—6/2215 on 6/11
Tiger Swallowtail126/8—8/174 on 8/5
Wild Indigo D-wing126/17—10/13 on 2 occasions
N. Broken Dash127/6—7/235 on 2 occasions
Zabulon Skipper128/10—9/145 on 9/7
Tawny-edged Skipper116/1—9/1   4 on 9/1
Delaware Skipper77/6—7/13 4 on 7/13
GSF57/25—9/212 on 8/5
Baltimore Checkerspot46/17—7/132 on 6/17
Little Glassywing47/6—8/10Only singles
Spring Azure36/1—6/172 on 6/1
Silver-spotted Skipper 38/27—9/12 on 8/27
Summer Azure
Northern Pearly Eye
Common Buckeye
Mourning Cloak
Hobomok Skipper
Red Admiral
American Painted Lady
Dun Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Banded Hairstreak

2022 Butterfly report can be viewed here