A monarch waystation was installed at the Forest Park Pool in Fort Worth by the North Central Texas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas in 2016. Photo by Kim Conrow.

Jan. 25, 2023

There’s still time to apply for a grant that helps monarchs on their migration through Texas. 

Applications for the Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas grant are due Feb. 1.

The program is overseen by the Native Plant Society of Texas. Grants are funded by Native Plant Society of Texas, Monarch Watch, Monarch Joint Venture and by individual donations.

The small grants are awarded to nature centers, schools, educational groups and others to help fund monarch demonstration gardens or monarch waystations using native plants on public sites in Texas.

The purpose of the program is to educate Texans about monarch conservation and native plants and to encourage restoration of monarch habitats throughout the Texas migration flyway. Because of its public educational component, this grant cannot be used on private property for personal use.

The need for monarch way stations and public education about monarchs has increased since the program began.

“We have a lot of habitat in this country but we are losing it at a rapid pace,” said Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch in a post. “Development is consuming 6,000 acres a day, a loss of 2.2 million acres per year.”

He added that overuse of herbicides along roadsides and elsewhere is having a devastating effect on potential monarch habitat. Taylor says the adoption of genetically modified soybeans and corn have further reduced monarch habitat. 

“If these trends continue, monarchs are certain to decline, threatening the very existence of their magnificent migration,” said Taylor.

This year, the maximum awarded for individual grants is $600. Matching funds are not required by applicants.

The money must be spent on native milkweeds and native nectar plants. Funds cannot be spent on signage, hardscape features, barriers, soil, amendments or any other non-plant items.

Applications will be accepted for both new gardens and improvement and maintenance of established monarch waystations or monarch demonstration gardens. 

The Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas Committee serves as the grant administrator. The committee evaluates and ranks grant applications and awards grants. Evaluation is based on each plan’s completeness and feasibility, its benefits to monarchs, and its aesthetically pleasing use of native plants. Plans with a passive or active educational component score higher in the competitive process.

“The application is simple, but for best chances of being selected, be sure to have a robust list of Texas native plants and native milkweeds you plan to use, and an actual layout of how the different species will be placed and spaced in your project,” said Carol Clark, the chair of the BBMT committee in a Facebook post. “We never add or subtract points for art ability so don’t be afraid to sketch something up on ordinary paper. You can simply snap a photo of your hand drawn layout and include it with your emailed application.”

Applications must be submitted by Feb. 1. Grants will be decided by March 1. Checks should be received by mid-March. Funds are to be spent by Oct. 31 of the grant year.

Email [email protected] with questions.

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