Thursday, December 16, 2021
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Reston Annual Butterfly Count
Reston has conducted an Annual Butterfly Count since 1994. One place to look for Monarchs is the Golf Course Island Community Gardens where there is a Monarch Waystation, filled with milkweed plants. Each year, volunteers assist staff with the count.
Reston has 18 certified Monarch Waystations by Monarch Watch. These sites provide milkweeds, nectar sources and shelter needed to sustain Monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America.Learn More
Action Items Committed for 2022
- Issue a proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitat. This proclamation must incorporate a focus on monarch conservation.
- Engage with Homeowners Associations (HOAs), Community Associations or neighborhood organizations to identify opportunities to plant monarch gardens and revise maintenance and mowing programs.
- Engage with gardening leaders and partners (e.g., Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Nature Centers, Native Plant Society Chapters , other long-standing and influential community leaders) to support monarch butterfly conservation.
- Engage with city parks and recreation, public works, sustainability, and other relevant staff to identify opportunities to revise and maintain mowing programs and milkweed / native nectar plant planting programs.
- Launch or maintain a public communication effort to encourage residents to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods. (If you have community members who speak a language other than English, we encourage you to also communicate in that language; Champion Pledges must communicate in that language.)
- Display educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitat.
- Launch, expand, or continue an invasive species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
- Add or maintain native milkweed and nectar producing plants in community gardens.
- Initiate or support community science (or citizen science) efforts that help monitor monarch migration and health.
- Plant or maintain a monarch and pollinator-friendly demonstration garden at City Hall or another prominent or culturally significant community location.
- Host or support a native seed or plant sale, giveaway or swap.
- Integrate monarch butterfly conservation into the city’s Park Master Plan, Sustainability Plan, Climate Resiliency Plan or other city plans.
- Launch, expand, or continue one or more ordinances to reduce light pollution to benefit urban wildlife.