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Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:14 am

Mayor’s monarch pledge

Swamp milkweed.
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Memorial Garden

Planters and bumpouts along Sixth Street and Adams Street in downtown Springfield will be planted with native perennials to attract pollinators. Volunteers working with the city of Springfield and Downtown Springfield, Inc., helped obtain a grant from the Springfield Civic Garden Club for this pilot project. Plants will be selected that will bloom from May through fall when the last monarchs are leaving. “The idea of using native perennials is attractive to the city to reduce costs long-term and to add more variety to the planters downtown,” says Mark Mahoney, public works director for the city of Springfield. Planters will be monitored and evaluated to determine success in attracting pollinators, maintenance costs and other results.

This project is in keeping with the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, an initiative of the National Wildlife Federation to get cities and communities throughout the U.S. to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and other pollinators and to educate citizens about how they can make a difference.

Mayor Jim Langfelder signed the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge in October 2016. Since then the city has created more than six acres of monarch habitat by converting abandoned farm fields, added pollinator plant seeds to seed mixes for landscaping around the city, provided the public with milkweed seed packets, and participates in the annual Earth Awareness Fair, which is scheduled for April 27 on the grounds of the Old State Capitol.

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