AVALON, N.J. – Officials from the Borough of Avalon have announced a new pollinator habitat by the Armacost Park.
The habitat aims to provide a spot for migratory pollinators and birds to stop during their migration and help rebound the number of important pollinators, such as the Monarch Butterfly, on the east coast of the United States.
“This Monarch Butterfly Habitat project will be an integral part of Avalon’s stewardship of our natural environment and provide an important educational piece for local property owners to consider for incorporation into their own landscapes,” Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi said. “This project has been enthusiastically embraced by Avalon’s important environmental partners and we are excited to begin the discussion in our region of the importance of pollinators to our overall sustainable ecosystem.”
The habitat includes nearly 30 herbaceous perennials and woody species that will provide an attractive location for the pollinators. Some of the pollinators that were planted include purple coneflower, cardinal flower, milkweed, golden alexanders, and seaside goldenrod. Woody species include eastern red cedar, and beach plum. The area includes an educational, interpretive sign and an accessible viewing area for the public to learn how these pollinators contribute to the natural environment.
The plants used in the habitat will provide food resources for resident and migratory pollinator species, including the Monarch Butterfly.
Avalon and Cape May County are known as a “stopover” site for migratory species before their trek across the Delaware Bay. The Monarch Butterfly trip extends another 2,000 miles away to Mexico.
Pagliughi and a prior director of the New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory began exploring the possibility of a Monarch Butterfly habitat in July 2016. The habitat was created by the Avalon Department of Public Works with plantings conducted by Bayshore Landscaping; it will be maintained by the Borough.