In 2015, two young girls, Addison and Courtney took an interest in Mrs. Laura Bush’s work to save the Monarch butterfly. They began planting Milkweed in their backyard. As butterflies flocked to their garden, the girls began raising them, successfully raising over 30 on their own. As the girls’ interest in saving the Monarch grew, they began sharing the importance of pollinators with their friends, fellow classmates, and community members.
Project Description & History
In 2018, the Mayor of McKinney and Superintendent of McKinney ISD agreed to meet with Addison and Courtney to discuss a proposal. The girls requested that McKinney ISD plant milkweed on all ISD properties to help accelerate restoration efforts. After listening to their presentation, both officials agreed to assist with the project. The City of McKinney purchased the plants, and the Superintendent agreed to plant them in a safe area where they will receive care from campus lawn crews.
The girls planted over 103 Milkweed plants in August 2018 at 23 schools in McKinney ISD, including Walker, Eddins, and Wilmeth Elementary schools, as well as Boyd High School, and Dowell Middle School. They also planted at McKinney ISD’s District Office.
McKinney ISD and the City of McKinney’s actions not only help provide habitat for the Monarch in their area but may also inspire surrounding communities to follow suit. This project is a testament to the fact that all Texans, no matter how old (or how young!) can have a positive impact on conservation. By sharing data about Monarchs, arranging meetings with relevant stakeholders, and creating a project that benefits both nature and the community, two young students accomplished their goal and demonstrated just how they are Texan by Nature!
McKinney ISD is comprised of campuses spanning 603 acres, and milkweed plants will be planted at each campus. The 24,000+ students who attend McKinney schools, part of the city’s population of over 179,000, will benefit from the pollinator garden and learn about the importance of the Monarch through this project.
The primary goal is education and habitat restoration, but reduced mowing and maintenance may provide some cost savings for the district!
Milkweed were planted at each McKinney ISD property