Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, the Town Board, and the Department of Planning and Environmental Control recently increased the Town’s efforts to bring awareness to declining monarch butterfly populations by furthering the Town’s involvement in the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge.
Staff recently tagged many monarch butterflies at Clark Botanic Garden to aid in research conducted by Monarch Watch, an organization devoted to the education, conservation, and research of monarch butterflies.
The tagging involved staff from the Town’s Planning Department placing lightweight stickers with unique ID codes on the butterflies’ wings.
“I am so proud of the work the Town has done to bring attention to monarch butterfly populations both here in North Hempstead and throughout the country,” Bosworth said. “By tagging the monarchs at our beautiful Clark Botanic Garden, we will be providing critical information to Monarch Watch that will ultimately better our collective understanding of the butterflies’ migration patterns.”
Last year, North Hempstead began its participation in the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge by establishing the Monarch Waystation Garden at Clark, which features plants that help sustain the Monarch’s migration as well as help other pollinators like bees.
This year the Town continued its efforts by creating two pollinator gardens at Gerry Park in Roslyn as well as adding plants to Clark’s rain garden and next to Clark’s lower pond.
All gardens contain a variety of milkweeds, which are the only food source for monarch caterpillars, and other nectar plants including bee balm, black-Eyed Susan; blazingstar, goldenrod, asters, butterfly bush, Joe-pye weed, mallow; phlox; purple coneflower and ironweed.
Most monarchs migrate to Mexico where “citizen scientist” volunteers look for the monarchs with tags and turn them over to scientists from Monarch Watch (see the website more information: https://monarchwatch.org/tagging/).
In addition, citizens in the southern US/northern Mexico can report the ID number to Monarch Watch if they find a tagged butterfly.
For more information about the tagging program, monarch conservation, and what you can do to help this species in decline, please visit https://northhempsteadny.gov/monarchs