Planting Monarch Waystations in Your Local Park!

The Mayors’ Monarch Pledge

monarch-waystation-signAcross the country, pollinator species are in the public eye and at the forefront of conservation efforts.  Pollinators are critical for maintaining healthy ecosystems, not to mention our food supply.  One of the more memorable pollinators in Dallas is the Monarch Butterfly that migrates through the area every spring and fall.  At the beginning of the year, Mayor Mike Rawlings signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge with the National Wildlife Federation, committing the City to conserving Monarch habitat.  Lead by the Office of Environmental Quality, several City departments are working with local partners to support the Pledge.  The Dallas Park and Recreation Department (Parks) is helping on several fronts:  improving prairie management practices, including changing mowing schedules; planting wildflower areas and working to increase fall blooming species; and, increasing the number of Monarch Waystations and pollinator gardens on Dallas Park properties.   For this last effort, Parks needs your help!

Certified Monarch Waystations

Monarch WaystationsParks is looking for groups (churches, youth groups, neighborhood associations, etc.) to volunteer to help create and maintain Monarch and pollinator gardens in Dallas parks.  Each garden should be certifiable as a Monarch Waystation, a program designation through the Monarch Watch organization.  Read more about the certification for Monarch Waystations here.  Parks can work with your group to find a suitable location in the park, provide a list of allowable and recommended plants, and help with the plot design.  PLEASE NOTE, your group must have a signed agreement with Dallas Park and Recreation Department BEFORE starting any work.

You up for the challenge?  Follow these easy steps:

Step 1:  Call 214-670-1923, and tell them you are interested in planting a Monarch or pollinator garden in your park.  They will connect you with the correct Community Program Coordinator (CPC) for the specific park where you would like to volunteer your services.

Step 2:  The CPC will set up an onsite meeting to discuss the details of entering into a Beautification Agreement.

Step 3:  Fill out the Beautification Agreement form, and provide any supplemental information that is requested.  In the case of a pollinator garden, your group will be asked to provide a simple planting diagram and plant species list.  Parks staff may be able to assist in this effort.  There are also planting resources available here.

Step 4:  The CPC will then take the Beautification Agreement and work it through the City approval process.

Step 5:  BE PATIENT—The process can take several weeks.  Once a fully approved contact is returned to the CPC, you will receive a copy for your records.

Once an approved agreement is in place, you can start planting!  Do not hesitate to contact your CPC or the Parks’ Urban Biologist if you need any further assistance as you cultivate your garden.

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