27 May 2018 Fairfield Bay first to get Monarch City designation
Fairfield Bay has long had a love affair with butterflies, and soon Monarch butterflies will be more apt to find their way to Fairfield Bay on their migration journeys for food as the city has just become the first in the state to receive the Monarch City USA designation.
Fairfield Bay is known for its beautiful parks and public spaces, and butterflies for years have made their home in a special place in Ed Leamon Park (located in the center of town), where there’s a beautifully landscaped butterfly garden. The garden features milkweed and other nectar plants, attracting many varieties of butterflies.
“We are so delighted to be recognized as the first Monarch USA City in Arkansas,” said Mayor Paul Wellenberger. “We have such wonderful citizens who take care of the special place God has entrusted us to be stewards of. It is a perfect fit for the wonderful nature and wildlife lovers who live in and enjoy life in Fairfield Bay.”
Monarch butterflies are considered by many to be the most beautiful of all butterflies – the “king” of the butterflies; hence the name “monarch”. Monarch cities encourage and plant milkweed and nectar plants within their boundaries to help the monarch population recover. Small Monarch City signs with the iconic orange and black butterfly will soon be posted at several city entrances.
Nearly a billion monarch butterflies have vanished since 1990, according to data released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They rely on milkweed plants and nectar plants for their food and home, but the plants are decreasing across the country.
Fairfield Bay hopes to grow plants that are flowering and make the beauty of the Bay shine even brighter. Though city officials don’t expect swarms of Monarchs landing in Fairfield Bay in this first year of emphasis, they plan to stay the course and encourage milkweed plantings throughout the Bay. As the Monarchs discover the Fairfield Bay food source, officials hope to attract large numbers of Monarchs as they make their migration journeys north in the spring and south in the fall. Visitors are welcome to see the lovely butterfly garden at Fairfield Bay.