The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, in partnership with Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative and National Wildlife Federation (NWF), is working to increase habitat for monarchs and other pollinators by providing grants of up to $1,500 for Oklahoma City metro area schools to create monarch gardens.
Public, private and charter K-12 schools in the Oklahoma City metro area are eligible to apply. This includes schools in the following areas Oklahoma City, Edmond, Yukon, Mustang, Moore, Midwest City, Del City, Norman, Bethany, Piedmont, Deer Creek, Choctaw and Warr Acres. The application deadline is Monday, April 1 by 5 p.m. Click here to learn more and submit an application. Grantees will be notified on June 1.
Grant-winning schools will receive the following:
- Two professional development opportunities for teachers in July and August 2019
- Awards of up to $1,500 each to purchase garden supplies
- National Wildlife Federation’s Monarch Heroes Curriculum
- Dedicated point-person from the Oklahoma Monarch and Pollinator Collaborative to provide garden guidance
These gardens will include monarch host plants (milkweed) and nectar plants to provide a food source for monarchs along a vital part of their migration pathway.
The monarch butterfly population has dropped by over 80 percent in the last 20 years. The main reason for this is habitat loss throughout the monarch’s migration and breeding range. Migrating monarchs funnel through Oklahoma in the spring and fall. Thus, creating and protecting monarch habitat in Oklahoma is critical for this iconic butterfly’s survival.
For individuals interested in planting personal monarch gardens, Monarch Watch, a nonprofit organization has flats of native milkweed seedlings for sale. For qualifying nonprofits, as well as larger habitat restoration projects (two or more acres), seedlings are free. The seedling sales site is shop.milkweedmarket.org.
To learn how to plant a garden for monarchs and other pollinators and other ways you can help, please visit okiesformonarchs.com.
-Rebecca Snyder, curator of conservation and science