Congratulations, San Antonio!  We rallied in December to hit and surpass our goal of 300 new pollinator habitats for San Antonio’s 300th birthday, finishing the year with 325 gardens pledged.

The year-long initiative, launched here at the Texas Butterfly Ranch in March, got off to a rousing start. We made slow-but-steady progress throughout the spring and summer, languished a bit in early fall, then plowed strong and hearty into the home stretch in December, thanks to a lot of help from our friends.

Bees om Cowpen Daisy and Cardinal Vine. Photo by Monika Maeckle

Our like-minded colleagues at SAWS, San Antonio’s award-winning water utility, profiled our 300for300 initiative in late November when we had about 245 gardens registered.

Then on December 13, our friends at the Rivard Report ran a story describing our gardening initiative. By the end of the day, we had hit 300. The pledges continued up until New Year’s Eve.

Now, here we are on January 1 with 325 pollinator habitats registered–almost 10% above our goal. See the updated map below for a look at the broad range of pollinator habitats across the city, stretching all the way to Round Rock, Texas.

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), which inspired the initiative through its nationwide Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, lauded the accomplishment.

“San Antonio has taken the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge very seriously,” said Rebeca Quiñonez Piñón, Monarch Outreach Coordinator for NWF. Citing San Antonio’s status as the first city in the country to become a “Monarch Champion” by committing to all 24 action items on the NWF’s list of recommendations for increasing pollinator habitat in cities, Quiñonez Piñón added that NWF is “very proud” to continue the collaboration with San Antonio. “We look forward to more exciting challenges that will help us to increase monarch habitat within the City of San Antonio and other Texas cities.”

Broadcast to the world your pollinator habitat’s lofty goals.

But why stop here? Let’s keep adding pollinator habitats. Spring planting season is coming up quickly. The more pollinator habitats we plant, the more bees, butterflies, bats and birds will inhabit our landscapes. Better reproduction for your insect-pollinated flowers and vegetables will result, too.

Let’s keep pushing in 2019 and make San Antonio a pollinator-friendly pit stop for all those ecosystem workers that make one of every three bites of our food possible.

It’s never too late to pledge to plant a pollinator garden. You can do so at this link.

To all those who participated and supported our challenge, thank you again, and Happy New Year!

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