Last night, in a quiet room at a local Dallas church, a group of residents gathered to kick-off the first of many meetings aimed at protecting the Monarch butterfly. RSVPs put the count around 40; by the time it was over, over 7- packed the room.
Individuals from about two-dozen groups representing gardeners, naturalists, food advocates, educational facilities, conservation and advocacy groups, at least four cities, a museum, botanical and aviary institutions, several local nurseries and design groups, and neighborhoods across North Texas were on hand.
Dallas Zoo Horticulturist Randy Johnson, Organic Randy as he’s known to some, gave a very informative talk on the dos and don’ts of yard care to foster healthy habitats for this threatened yet graceful creature. Those interested in seeing Randy’s presentation can download it here: Managing For Monarchs
Ms. Grace Barnett of the Natural Wildlife Federation then lead everyone through an exercise to envision a Dallas that has championed Monarch protection. The groups each shared their visions with the room.
Wrapping up the meeting were members from the City’s Office of Environmental Quality who thanked everyone for their time and encouraged them to stay engaged and to contact their local representatives to express their support for the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and this effort.
The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings took the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge and put Dallas in the Leadership Circle with the National Wildlife Federation this winter. The City has committed to at least 10 different initiatives that will raise awareness on the threats facing this graceful sky-dancer during its annual migration. It is hoped these measures, outlined below, will be successful in protecting the Monarch from further harm and create a safe “butterfly way” through North Texas:
- launch a public effort to plant Monarch gardens across the city
- communicate with garden groups to urge them to plant milkweeds
- hold meetings with gardening leaders to discuss partnerships
- support milkweed seed collection and planting effort
- plant a Monarch-friendly garden at City Hall
- create a Monarch neighborhood challenge
- add milkweed and nectar-producing plants in community gardens
- allow for native prairie and plants
- direct City staff to consider native milkweed and nectar plants at City properties
- include Monarch conservation in long-range plans, including the City’s Sustainability Plan
The next meeting is anticipated to be held in early April. Details will be placed on the GreenDallas.net Green Team Calendar. Those wishing to get involved should sign up for our email communications. We will only contact you on the topic(s) you have selected.