The City of Pontiac is committed to supporting our state insect, the monarch butterfly, through initiatives like the Mayors Monarch Pledge and the Route 66 Monarch Flyway!
Monarchs play a crucial role in pollinating a wide variety of plants on the planet necessary for human survival but over the last twenty years, the monarch’s population has declined by approximately 90%. As a community we are taking steps to help reverse this decline and encourage our residents to do the same.
How did we get started?
Two of our Downtown Pontiac business owners (Kathi from Pops Pop Up and Baylee from Everyone’s Collective) approached us with the idea of planting native pollinator plants in downtown flowerbeds as part of the Route 66 Monarch Flyway. They had researched the project and met with leaders at the state level to understand the feasibility before approaching the city. We talked it over with our Streets Superintendent who oversees the planting and maintenance of those areas and decided to move forward with two flowerbeds this year as a pilot program and discuss expanding it to more flowerbeds in the future. After learning more about this project and the plight of the monarch and other pollinators, we approached the mayor and city council about signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors Monarch Pledge as a sign of commitment to protecting the monarch and educating the community. City Council approved that measure and we are excited to move forward with both of these projects!
Where can I see native pollinator plants?
We are excited to have both public and private participants as part of the Route 66 Monarch Flyway in Downtown Pontiac! The city has two beds: at the electronic sign in the City Hall parking lot, and around the benches in the 100 block of West Madison St. Additionally, Pops Pop Up has added their own Route 66 Monarch Flyway beds at their store (517 W Howard St).
How can I get involved?
Residents are encouraged to look for native species when choosing their landscaping. Baylee has put together this helpful guide of plants to create your own pollinator garden:
Scroll through images of the public flyway beds being planted and check back often to see how they grow!