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Contributed photo/Erin M. White

The Harrison City Council voted Thursday night to allow Mayor Jerry Jackson to sign the National Wildlife Federation's Mayors' Monarch Pledge and make Harrison a monarch butterfly habitat.

Harrison City Council made it official Thursday night — Harrison is now an official monarch butterfly habitat.

Council member Bill Boswell was especially excited about the designation as he and his family have a monarch butterfly habitat in their front yard. Milkweed and butterfly bushes comprise most of the small garden. He said anyone can plant a butterfly garden. Its inexpensive to do and can give families hours of enjoyment.

Mayor Jerry Jackson said he was approached by a citizen about designating the city as a monarch butterfly habitat. "Someone internally said, 'Mayor, if you do this you'll get no push back from anyone. Everybody will love it.'

"Well, I'm ready for some of that," he said.

It's something they can develop for next to no money and it's something that can save the monarch butterfly.

"I'm not a butterfly guy, but a lot of people are," Jackson said.

Boswell noted that the presence of butterflies speaks well of the local environment.

Harrison joins around 500 other towns by allowing Jackson to sign the National Wildlife Federation's Mayors' Monarch Pledge, committing to create habitat and engage the city's residents to help save the declining monarch butterfly and other pollinators.

Across North America, the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge network is working to create habitat in public parks, city landscaping, roadsides, medians, green roofs, community gardens, backyards and open space throughout the entire community.

(1) comment

lightYears

I believe that's a thistle the Monarch has landed on, which is part of our unwanted habitat , so planting milkweed is a good replacement. But the flower and nectar is is just a small part of the total picture. The butterfly lays its eggs only on milkweed and when they hatch, the caterpillars eat the milkweed, then build a cocoon, which eventually hatches into the butterfly. Now whether that whole process will be performed in Arkansas, I'm not sure ... I witnessed this process several times when I lived in Pennsylvania as a child. In Arkansas I have only seen migrating Monarks heading to Mexico in the late summer/ Fall. They really hit my Latana bushes on the way. Milkweed can be invasive and is a poisonous plant , so you don't want it around cattle or horses, children, as a precaution, should wash their hands after handling it,. We are in planting zone 6 and milkweed is a perennial ( there are about 6 varietals ) The purple should do well here. I'm anxious to see some milkweed in front of City Hall next year.

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