We are pleased to announce the Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) as the newest Monarch Joint Venture partner. Their reach to a broad audience, management of many acres of wilderness habitat, and existing pollinator and native prairie conservation partnerships make them a natural fit for the MJV.
As one of the oldest and largest restored tallgrass prairie preserves in the Houston-Galveston region of Texas, ABNC has long been focused on propagating pollinator food and host plants, including multiple native milkweed species. Established in 1974, the nonprofit manages one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the United States, providing stewardship for over 2500 acres of native coastal prairie, forest, and bayou habitat in partnership with county and state agencies. Their mission is two-fold: preserving habitat for native plants and animals, and providing access to those resources for environmental education.
Many ABNC projects create and promote monarch habitat through direct restoration work and outreach activities. This year, monarchs, butterflies and pollinators are the nature center’s programming theme. They are developing monarch specific curriculum, adding pollinator content to existing courses, working to enroll neighboring communities in the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge and promoting Monarch Waystations. Volunteers at ABNC already care for five native plant demonstration gardens, two of which are Monarch Waystations. Additionally, their native plant nursery has been operating for almost 30 years and now produces over 20,000 1-gallon propagules of grasses and forbs annually for use in prairie habitat restoration projects.
Surrounded by some of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan communities, ABNC is a rare wild space that attracts over 40,000 visitors each year and manages thousands of acres of public parks lands. We look forward to working with ABNC to further monarch conservation and education in this important region for monarchs.
To learn more about the Armand Bayou Nature Center, visit their website here: http://www.abnc.org/
The Monarch Joint Venture is a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration. The content in this article does not necessarily reflect the positions of all Monarch Joint Venture partners. Header photo taken by Armand Bayou Nature Center.