Monarchs Over Chesterfield
This morning we took a tour of the NWF Certified Community Wildlife Habitat in Chesterfield, MO – just outside of St. Louis. The city has been certified for 10 years and it showed – everywhere you looked were bees, birds, moths and butterflies.
And the Monarch Butterflies were out in full force, a good sign for a species that is facing serious challenges.
We started the tour with NWF President and CEO Collin O’Mara presenting a special conservation achievement award to Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation and NWF Chesterfield Community Wildlife Habitat Team Leader Darcy Capstick.After the award ceremony, we headed outside to the NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat at Chesterfield City Hall and planted four different native species of milkweed provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden, a key partner and leader of the BiodiverseCity St. Louis effort in the Metro Area. Next we went over to the beautiful Chesterfield Central Park where we visited the butterfly garden and the native prairie stream walk habitats. Then on to our final stop, the Butterfly House (which is part of the Missouri Botanical Garden) in Faust Park. The Park and Butterfly House themselves are true gems, but we spent most of our time behind the Butterfly House in the native plant garden which is certified as an NWF Schoolyard Habitat and a Monarch Waystation.
I also had the opportunity to go visit a beautiful butterfly garden at Eberwein Park built and maintained for several years by the Cadette Girl Scout Troup 2534!The tour far exceeded everyone’s expectations. It was clear to all of us that Chesterfield is making a real difference for wildlife and none of it would be possible without the hard work of so many volunteers, government employees, businesses, educators and others who step up in so many ways to make it all happen.
The tour inspired all of us to think about what was possible throughout the city, state and nation. And it was Brandon Butler, executive director of NWF’s state affiliate the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) who challenged every community across the state to join the NWF Community Wildlife Habitat program.
If you’re interested in learning more about the program – please visit www.nwf.org/community.