The City of Allen’s golf course, The Courses at Watters Creek, has installed a new Monarch butterfly waystation to help reverse habitat loss and prevent the species’ extinction.
The one-acre planting is located near hole No. 6 within The Players Course, the facility’s nine-hole course.
The project was identified through The Courses at Watter’s Creek recent membership in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf. The Monarchs in the Rough program is a partnership between Audubon International and Environmental Defense Fund.
“Being immersed in the sights and sounds of nature is one of the biggest reasons people play golf,” Parks and Recreation Assistant Director David Angeles said. “We’re thrilled to do our part to protect this beloved species during their long journey.”
Monarchs travel up to 3,000 miles each fall in a migration pattern unlike any other butterfly. The journey requires generations to complete, requiring safe spaces for breeding and reliable food sources along migration routes. Over the last 20 years, the Monarch population has experienced a 90 percent decline, leaving the species close to extinction.
To restore disappearing habitats, the Monarchs in the Rough program connects and supports golf course staff through planning, installation and management of habitat projects, including the provision of regionally appropriate milkweed seed.
“This area not only contributes to the natural beauty and environmental stewardship of our facility, it also provides opportunities for continuing education,” Watters Creek Golf Services Manager Jeff Holt said. “We look forward to sharing our passion for habitat preservation with local students, teachers and gardeners.”
The Monarch waystation was installed in November. Due to migratory patterns, it could take two years before butterflies recognize and use it.