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Locals helping Monarchs
During the monarchs migration time many butterflies pass away due to weather and environmental conditions. During their 2000 mile journey from Mexico to Canada the North American butterfly population suffer a tremendous decline. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board works with 143 soil and water conservation districts throughout Texas to help with rebuilding the population.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture- National Resources Conversation Service develop plans to improve conditions for butterflies in public gardens. A project started in May funded acre plots to be available to purchase for ranchers, farmers, and private landowners who want to develop wildflowers in the migration pathway. The cost of an acre was around $375 and this covered sees, planting, and land maintaince. Local schools, businesses, and municipalities were able to receive funding to develop monarch butterfly gardens ranging from 100 to 300 square feet.
In addition to this project, the Monarch pledge required mayors to commit to at least three of 25 possible impactful actions the community. The organization, “Keep Brazos Beautiful”, The Texas A&M University Garden Club influenced individuals in creating a educational habitat for Monarchs. The city has committed to posting educational information for the butterflies at the new Nature Center at Lick Creek Park. There will also be an education garden and a “Butterfly Trail” within the park, according to David Schmitz, College Station Parks and Recreation director.
Butterflies In The Brazos
Special events for locals include “Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day” on at Bee Creek Park by the Brazos County Master Gardeners. Individuals interested in helping monarch conservation can refer to the Brazos County Master Gardener publication for a list of native flowers to plant for butterflies and birds. At this event you are able to build a demonstration garden by planting milkweed and other nectar plants. Local donations from America’s Country Store allowed the project to start with more than 100 seed packets. Bee Creek Park is the first of many parks in College Station/ Bryan area that will have butterfly gardens built by this group, but we encourage other volunteer groups, churches, and student organizations to build gardens in our parks as well.
Read more about how you can get involved locally at http://twri.tamu.edu/publications/conservation-matters/2016/april/rebuilding-monarch-numbers-landowners-agencies-and-cities-pitch-in/
Stay involved with social media by sharing your milkweed garden through social media by using the hashtag #CSTXPARKS.
For more information about local events, go to cstx.gov/monarchs, call 979.764.3486 or drop by the Central Park office.