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Volunteers Needed at Goebel Park in Support of Monarch Butterflys

Volunteers are being sought for a clean-up of Goebel Park in Covington's Mainstrasse Village in support of the monarch butterfly.

The City of Covington in 2017 joined other municipalities in a widespread push organized by the National Wildlife Federation to reverse a downward trend of the butterfly's population.

Mayor Joe Meyer recently reiterated Covington’s participation in the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, which has led to “pollinator gardens” throughout public areas in the city. These are located not only in Goebel Park but also in Devou Park, Randolph Park, Hands Pike Park, and Peaselburg Park, and in detention basins. Devou also has wildflower “prairies.”

Filled with nectar-heavy flowers like milkweed, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans, and dozens of others, the gardens both “feed” the butterflies throughout the summer and serve as a “stopping point” for those migrating back and forth, said Patrick Moore, Parks Project Coordinator with Covington Parks & Recreation.

“These pollinator gardens are more than just beautiful spots of color – they’re important way stations for the butterflies,” Moore said. “The campaign to save the monarchs needs urban areas just as much as it does rural areas to step up, and Covington is doing that.” 

Pollinator garden events

The public is invited to Saturday morning’s cleanup at Goebel, which will take place from 9:30 to noon, said Sheila Fields, Covington’s Solid Waste and Recycling coordinator.

The pollinator garden is on the park’s northern edge, near Fifth Street. Volunteers should wear old clothes and bring gloves and tools if possible.

Future events will include planting flowers and also thinning out existing flowers like black-eyed Susans, which tend to take over an area if left untouched. (“We want a diversity of flowers,” Fields said. Extra plants will be sent home with volunteers to plant elsewhere, she said.)

Moore said the city hopes to schedule two volunteer events a month going forward, with the first Saturdays of the month reserved for the large Goebel garden, and the third Saturdays focusing on other pollinator gardens.

Moore also the public can also help by planting pollinator gardens in the corners of their own yards. “Whether it’s 100 square feet or just a few milkweed plants, it gives them a place to stop, get energy, and find protection,” he said.

And whereas the monarch habitat restoration effort might seem like a small thing, Moore said it helps involve and indoctrinate people in broader ecological principles.

“You know, people have been seeing bald eagles along the Licking River here in Northern Kentucky,” he said. “It’s all connected. These things don’t happen without even small urban areas like ours paying attention to greenspaces and natural resources. By making Covington more colorful, we are also boosting our local ecosystem.”

-Staff report

Photo provided