DuPage Monarch Project members make a difference for monarchs

  • A trail winds through the butterfly habitat on the DuPage County campus. The DuPage Monarch Project encourages residents and civic leaders to do more native planting. During a "Bioblitz" last year in DuPage, 80 observers spotted 171 species, including 19 species of butterflies, four species of bumblebees, and 16 species of native bees.

    A trail winds through the butterfly habitat on the DuPage County campus. The DuPage Monarch Project encourages residents and civic leaders to do more native planting. During a "Bioblitz" last year in DuPage, 80 observers spotted 171 species, including 19 species of butterflies, four species of bumblebees, and 16 species of native bees. Courtesy of DuPage County

 
 
Updated 1/5/2022 4:18 PM

Recent experiences have left a deeper understanding of the need for nature's safe and healing places for people as well as pollinators.

DuPage communities and park districts overcame the challenges of a second year of disruptions and uncertainties to ensure these critical resources continue to be available and make progress on the shared vision of a county where bees, butterflies, and people thrive together.

 

Local civic leaders are maintaining existing natural areas while expanding their conservation efforts.

They are identifying new locations for habitat: an underutilized vacant lot in Darien; and a tornado-damaged woodland in Woodridge replanted with flowers and milkweed.

Westmont offered homeowners the opportunity to share their lawns with foraging bees by suspending enforcement of the grass height ordinance until mid-May.

Awareness of the plight of pollinators spread in 2021 through art exhibits, concerts, educational programs, and garden walks.

West Chicago kept bees and butterflies in public view all summer with the "Take Flight" street banners featuring monarchs and hummingbirds along with other flying things.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County seeded Facebook for three months with a steady stream of photographs, paintings, and mixed media art showing pollinators in action.

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DuPage Monarch Project's membership grew this year with the addition of five signatories: Bloomingdale Park District, Village of Darien, Hanover Park Park District, Warrenville Public Library, and Woodridge Park District, and six new associate members: Darien Garden Club, Darien Swim and Recreation Club, Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition, Elmhurst Garden Club, Fermilab Natural Areas, and the Winfield Riverwalk Park Pollinator Garden Committee.

Two award-winning projects -- Naperville Park District's addition of more than seven acres of habitat and the 167 participants in Westmont's No Mow 'til Mother's Day initiative -- demonstrated the commitment to pollinator conservation remains strong.

This year, the DuPage Monarch Project became a Monarch Joint Venture partner.

Through this partnership, DuPage's accomplishments will now be recognized as part of the national monarch recovery effort.

The actions benefiting the eastern migrating monarch population ripple through the ecosystem and human communities.

Native plant communities help manage stormwater, provide habitat for wildlife, reduce climate altering emissions from mowing, sequester carbon, save money, and offer people special places where they can connect with nature and replenish their spirits.

All of this by welcoming native plants back into our parks and gardens.

Learn more about the DuPage Monarch Project at dupagemonarchs.com or www.facebook.com/dupagemonarchproject/.

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