In June we posed the question: should we push for 500 pollinator habitats by 2020?

The overwhelming community response: “Let’s do this!”

Queen on mistflower in urban polliantor garden

Pollinator habitats come in all shapes and sizes–in cities, suburbs and everywhere. Queen on Purple Mistflower. Photo by Monika Maeckle

An informal two-question poll of 96 community members conducted on various social media platforms resulted in 93 YES votes and 3 NO votes.

Respondents generally expressed optimism and an upbeat attitude.

“Thanks for promoting pollinator habitat,” said one voter via the comments. “It has changed the way I garden. Our three acres is like living in a wildlife sanctuary. With the native plants, have come birds, bees, butterflies surrounding our home.”

“Recruit cemeteries, golf courses, public parks, military bases, other expanses of landscape with potential for pollinator habitat enhancement!” wrote another community member.  “Woo butterflies!” said respondent #67. (The poll allowed for anonymity.)

Other folks chimed in with useful insights.

“We need to have better access to buy milkweed plants to ensure the beautiful monarch migrations,” said one respondent.

Two people left comments that suggest we aspire to greater goals. “Aim high! Try for 1,000 in 2020,” and “Go for 1,000!”

Our 300for300 pollinator habitat initiative was launched in the spring of 2018 as a local initiative, when our hometown of San Antonio was celebrating its Tricentennial Birthday. The idea: create 300 pollinator gardens for San Antonio’s 300th birthday. By December 31, we had exceeded our goal, with 324 habitats pledged. As of this writing, 392 pollinator habitats have been pledged.

The effort resulted from San Antonio’s status as the first Monarch Butterfly Champion City in the country. In December of 2015, San Antonio became the first city in the nation to agree to act on all 24 recommendations made by the National Wildlife Federation to increase urban pollinator habitat as part of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge. A citywide pollinator gardening initiative was among the action items pledged.

Three hundred habitats in a few months sounded daunting, but when we broke it down into our 10 city council districts–30 per district–it seemed more achievable. And it was.

Since, the 300for300 pollinator habitat initiative has crossed borders beyond the city of San Antonio. We ditched the City Council designation field on our registration page and welcome all comers. Anyone willing to commit to plant a pollinator habitat and who hopes to see it on our map, updated monthly, need only register.

As one voter commented in our poll: “Let’s not be shy about including pollinator gardens outside the vicinity of San Antonio, as we have done in the past. There are many supporters outside the city limits.”

In short, #ButterflieswithoutBorders.

Ready to sign up? Here’s the link.

TOP PHOTO: A sign signaling to the community why your yard may seem messy or “not mowed” helps educate neighbors on the rationale of pollinator habitats. Signs available in our shop.

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