Since 2009, the community gardeners have been growing and nurturing a block-long native prairie along the path that runs throughout El Paseo Community Garden. It is used as a vehicle to harness the skills and talents of neighborhood residents to strengthen environmental stewardship in the community. The gardeners established a butterfly garden and nursery to boost the monarch population and provide nectar for their long flight to Michoacan. The garden is home to many common milkweed plants and other milkweed varieties. They have annually release upwards of 100 monarchs into the garden. In December of 2018 they even conducted a controlled burn to help with prairie restoration (5,500 sq ft). Gardeners continuously reintroduce native wildflowers to their prairie. Pink milkweeds, blue blazing stars, and bright orange butterfly weeds will attract bees and butterflies from miles around to pollinate their veggies. They recently added a permaculture food forest (4,000 sq ft.) that provides a variety of nectar plants that bloom throughout the year.
El Paseo Community Garden hosts community stewardship days to help with maintenance of the prairie. Work includes mulching, thinning, fertilizing, amending the soil, removing dead stalks, watering, removing invasive plant species, and incorporating additional plants and features. Contact us if you are interested in volunteering for this project.
El Paseo Community Garden is recognized as a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and is a registered wildlife habitat and way station by the following organizations:
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