Richardson’s four butterfly gardens are ready for the annual southbound monarch migration.
The renowned black and orange butterflies have begun showing up in North Texas, where they take a pit stop before reaching their winter destination in Mexico.
As a Mayors’ Monarch Pledge city since 2015, Richardson is an ideal location to spot the insects. The pledge, a National Wildlife Federation program, shows that Richardson is committed to creating a habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators, according to the program website.
One way the city creates this habitat is through its butterfly gardens at Berkner, Prairie Creek, Durham and Yale parks. Richardson’s parks department also includes butterfly-friendly pollinator plants in park and landscape projects wherever feasible.
But aside from just enjoying the butterflies’ beauty, people can help the population, which has declined by more than 80% in the past 20 years, in several ways. Journey North, a project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, asks that people report monarch sightings and help track migration patterns via its website.
Residents can also provide monarch-friendly habitats at their homes by planting native nectar plants, such as milkweed, according to the city’s website.
The monarchs’ fall southern migration to Mexico begins in September and lasts until early October, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
More information about Richardson’s monarch-friendly efforts can be found here.