Granbury City Council proclaimed October 2023 as Monarch Butterfly Migration Month during its regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 17.
Mayor Jim Jarratt read the proclamation, which explains that the monarch butterfly is the Texas state insect and is known as the “Ambassador of the Americas” for its multi-generation 3,000-mile migration across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
The proclamation also states that thousands of monarch butterflies travel through Texas on their fall journey south to Mexico, stopping in Granbury’s green spaces to show their “brilliant” orange-and-black wings as they search for nectar-rich flowers.
Researchers are also trying to determine why the monarch butterfly’s population is sharply declining, but it’s possible this situation is occurring due to loss of habitat.
To raise awareness of the importance of creating monarch butterfly habitats — especially due to the decreasing population —the Lake Granbury Master Gardeners maintain a demonstration garden to offer educational classes and host a yearly outreach to encourage the community to plant milkweed and nectar plants in preparation of the monarch butterfly migration through Granbury and Hood County.
"I, Jim Jarratt, mayor of the city of Granbury, Texas, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2023 as Monarch Butterfly Migration Month in Granbury and encourage all citizens to join the Lake Granbury Master Gardeners in celebrating the culmination of a year-long effort to romance adult monarch butterflies while on their migration through Granbury and Hood County,” Jarratt said, reading the proclamation during the meeting.
“This is a very important proclamation that the mayor has just made,” said Deborah Rollins, chairman of the Romancing the Monarch Butterfly Festival. “This is actually in combination with the National Wildlife Federation, monarchwatch.org, and Lake Granbury Master Gardeners. We are on a nationwide project to try to keep the monarch butterfly from going extinct, and the only way we can do that is to plant milkweed and encourage the entire lifecycle.”
Rollins explained that the Lake Granbury Master Gardeners “romance” the monarch butterfly year-round by making sure that Granbury’s green spaces, gardens, and fields have nectar milkweed — something the butterflies need for their migration.
"They're migrating right now” she said. “You guys, look up. The sky is orange with monarchs as they're coming through Hood County. The great thing is that living here in Hood County, we're getting the third generation of monarch butterflies coming into our county right now. Those that have monarch milkweed already planted, the mamas are laying those eggs, those eggs become the butterflies that go down all the way to Mexico and hibernate in Mexico for four to six months. That is so cool that we not only celebrate the monarch butterfly migration, but we are also rolling out the welcome mat and hosting their families to be raised here and continue on with their life.”
“That’s why we’re known as the Celebration Capital of Texas,” Jarratt added.