Test plot seeks to help save monarch butterflies

A collaborative project along the banks of the Trinity River is working to save monarch butterflies, an iconic species whose populations have declined by 90 percent in the last 20 years.

A 10-foot-by-10-foot planting area is on the bank of the Trinity River off University Driver abutting Fort Worth Zoo property. The plot is currently being solarized, a six-week process, then will be tilled and sown with wildflower seed such as milkweed, a host plant for monarch butterflies.

A group of interested residents formed the Fort Worth Pollinator Ambassadors and are planning other activities, said Gail Manning, an entomologist at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

If the test plot is successful, more areas will be planted. This is part of an effort to increase pollinator and monarch butterfly habitat in the city, a component of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.

Mayors and other local government chief executives are taking action to help save the monarch butterfly. Through the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities and other communities are committing to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators, and to educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.

Mayor Betsy Price signed the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge earlier this year.

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