Challenge encourages Austinites to plant pollinator friendly plants.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Wildlife Austin Program is partnering with the National Wildlife Federation in a continuation of our wildlife initiatives, and has launched the 2015 Pollinator Challenge. This challenge hopes to encourage Austin residents to plant pollinator friendly plants, which includes milkweed.
The Austin City Council approved a resolution directing the City Manager to initiate a process to cultivate native milkweed into the City’s landscape portfolio at Austin City Hall, City-owned buildings, properties, preserve lands, parks, and open spaces. The resolution passed by the city council is an effort to continue Austin’s legacy as the # 1 City for Wildlife, a recent designation given by the National Wildlife Federation.
The reason for planting milkweed throughout the city is that pollinators are attracted to this plant, and the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) cannot survive without it. As caterpillars the monarch will only eat milkweed plants and they need milkweed to lay their eggs.
Ecosystem value of butterflies / moths
Butterflies and moths are indicators of a healthy environment and healthy ecosystems
Areas rich in butterflies and moths collectively provide a wide range of environmental benefits, including pollination and natural pest control
Butterflies have been widely used by ecologists as model organisms to study the impact of habitat loss and fragmentation, and climate change
Entering the Pollinator Challenge is easy. Residents should go to the 2015 Pollinator Challenge website and submit the form by 11/30/2015. The form can be submitted either online or through the mail using the address: Wildlife Austin, 919 W. 28 ½ St. Austin, TX 78705.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701