Butterfly Friendly

Orange City has been named a Monarch City USA and is developing a butterfly garden at Dickinson Park.

Most know Orange City as the home of the manatee, but now it's become an official home to a special butterfly breed.

Monarch City USA, a nationwide organization, recently named Orange City as a Monarch City. This means the city is committed to preserve and grow the dwindling monarch butterfly population.

The monarch population has plummeted with nearly a billion vanishing since 1990. Monarchs are critical to nature because they pollinate plants, helping grow many foods humans and animals rely upon.

Orange City's butterfly garden, featuring monarch-attracting milkweed and nectar plants, will be unveiled at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 at Dickinson Park, 120 E. Graves Ave, Orange City. The garden was designed by Master Gardener Teresa Watkins of She-Consulting, who will be present at the unveiling to discuss the best type of plants for butterfly gardens. A butterfly release will follow.

“When I first heard about the Monarch City USA organization, I was immediately interested,” City Councilman Bill Crippen, who spearheaded the effort, said in a news release. “It was my thought, and the other council members agreed, that we needed to join with other local municipalities to help restore the monarch butterfly population.”

Mayor Gary Blair followed up on that point with, “We need to do our part in sustaining the environment around us.”

Orange City joins DeLand, Deltona, Lake Helen and New Smyrna Beach as Monarch Cities, the only ones in Florida.

For more information about the butterfly garden unveiling, call (386) 775-5410.

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