Posts tagged “Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day

How you can help fuel the fall monarch migration

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Staff Assistant

College Station is perfectly situated to witness the fall monarch migration. The black and orange beauties funnel their way through the Brazos Valley each year from September through November.

At distances up to 3,000 miles, the monarch migration is among the world’s longest wildlife journeys. The monarchs fly up to 250 miles a day from their summer habitats to their winter sanctuary in the mountains of Mexico.

Waystations and pollinator gardens serve as stepping stones where they can rest and recharge along the way. Unfortunately, as the number of friendly stopping points has declined, the monarch population has dwindled. The good news is that kind-hearted citizens are taking action.

Locally, Butterflies in the Brazos has endeavored to recreate native habitat by building a butterfly garden in Bee Creek Park (1900 Anderson St.). You can become a part of this community effort by participating in the Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m.-noon. Volunteers will plant milkweed and other nectar plants along the park trail.

You’ll need to bring water, appropriate work shoes or boots, gloves, sunscreen, and garden tools such as rakes or shovels. Contributing nectar-producing plants or host plants for butterflies isn‘t required but would be appreciated.

Thanks to the College Station and Bryan Lowe’s, Culligan Water, Shipley’s Donuts College Station, Farm Patch, Producers Cooperative, Home Depot, Aggieland Grass and Stone, Living Earth, and Legacy Ace Hardware for donating materials and supplies.

For more information and a list of suggested plants to bring, visit cstx.gov/monarchs.


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day set for Sunday

By Hallie Kutch, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

40725911 - closeup butterfly on flower (common tiger butterfly)The annual migration of monarch butterflies is underway!

Be on the lookout in the next few weeks for the iconic black and orange butterflies as they pass through the Brazos Valley on their way from Canada to the mountains of Central Mexico.

The monarchs will be searching for milkweed to refuel and reproduce on their journey to Mexico. Milkweed is the only plant the caterpillar eats and provides a place for the butterfly to lay its eggs. Unfortunately, changes in agricultural practices have led to a rapid decline in milkweed and the vital monarch habitat it furnishes.

The best way to keep these winged travelers soaring is to rebuild their habitat by planting milkweed. A concerned group of community partners has joined to form Butterflies in the Brazos to help restore and conserve the declining monarch population with butterfly gardens and waystations in community and neighborhood parks.

Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day

You can join the effort by participating in Butterflies in the Brazos Planting Day on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Bee Creek Park. The group will be building a demonstration garden by planting milkweed and other nectar plants along the park trail. America’s Country Store has donated more than 100 seed packets to get the project started.

If you want to help, bring gloves, a gardening trowel, and an empty gallon milk jug or small bucket for watering the plants. Send an email to amgc4u@gmail.com to sign up.

Bee Creek Park is the first of many parks that will soon 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.

You can build your butterfly garden by planting milkweed and other nectar plants or registering to start a garden in your nearby neighborhood or community park. The Bee Creek Park demonstration garden may provide ideas for your waystation.

Milkweed seeds planted now will not bloom in time for the fall migration, but the plants will be mature by the time the monarchs head back north in the spring. Early spring is another great time to plant the seeds.

Ron Schaefer, our cemetery sexton, has been planting milkweed plants in our parks this fall and we already have seen a dozen of caterpillars and butterflies at Central Park. Jane Cohen of the A&M Garden Club says monarch butterflies also need ample nectar sources and suggests planting a mix of native plants, late-season bloomers, continuous-blooming perennials, and annuals in fall gardens.

Stop by our Stephen C. Beachy Central Park Office at 1000 Krenek Tap Rd. on weekdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to receive two free milkweed seed packets per household. Seed packets cover more than 20 square feet. We also invite you to share your milkweed garden through social media by using the hashtag #CSTXPARKS.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/monarchs, call 979.764.3486 or drop by the Central Park office.

 


312d2ecAbout the Author

Hallie Kutch is in her first year as a recreation assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in December with a degree in sports management and a minor in tourism research management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

Monarch Photo: pat138241/123RF Stock Photo

 

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