In July 2022, the Monarch butterfly was put on the endangered species list by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
But now, thanks to efforts by concerned communities and businesses, one of the most recognized butterflies in the world may be saved from extinction.
Locally, Southfield City Centre and Eaton have spearheaded an initiative to call attention to the plight of the Monarch butterfly. The first phase was the addition of a vibrant Monarch butterfly sculpture on the Southfield City Centre Trail last spring. The sculpture has received rave reviews by Southfield employees and residents alike.
Most recently, plans have been finalized for a dramatic Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Garden to attract and sustain butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Located at Eaton, adjacent to the Southfield City Centre Trail, the Pollinator Garden was designed by Juno Solutions, LLC, and will be fully installed next spring and fall by Artistic Outdoor Services, Inc.
According to Laurie Conn, facility manager for Eaton’s Mobility Group, “Our company promotes environmentally friendly green initiatives and is proud to support the Monarch sculpture and Pollinator Garden.”
Like many companies, she says, “Eaton is doing its share to dedicate green space and invest in landscaping that contributes to sustainability. We support green partnerships, including Green Guardians, an employee group that promotes environmental sustainability.”
Conn sees her company’s efforts as a win-win for employees and the environment. “The Pollinator Garden will really add to the walking Trails, which many of our employees enjoy.” She says the company’s wellness group encourages employees to participate in fitness walks on the Trails to help reduce stress and promote physical and mental well-being.
Joane Slusky, landscape architect and owner of Juno Solutions, LLC, collaborated with Terry Croad, AICP, ASLA and director of planning for the City of Southfield, in the design of the Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Garden.
“These types of gardens feature native plants that provide food and shelter to a variety of local wildlife, especially Monarch butterflies after their long migration from Mexico,” says Slusky.
Layout design and plant selection for the Pollinator Garden are based on a variety of elements, including bloom time, nectar supply, plant height, deer/rabbit resistance, sun/shade tolerance and more, says Slusky. “We even added rocks in the design for butterfly puddling. This allows butterflies to extract salts and minerals from water-filled indentations in the rocks.”
An educational panel and other people-focused amenities, including benches and wayfinding signs, have been installed to complement the area, says Croad. “We’re excited to see our new pollinator-friendly demonstration garden, which will help the City promote sustainability and enhance the beautiful Monarch sculpture and overall Southfield City Centre Trail.”