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Be A Butterfly Hero

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Join the National Million Pollinator ChallengeButterfly Hero logo

The City of Sunrise is a certified Community Wildlife Habitat! Help us continue our efforts:

  1.  Plant Florida-friendly native plants 
  2. Reduce the use of pesticides
  3. Certify your NWF Wildlife Habitat Garden
  4. Enjoy the butterflies and birds!

As outlined in our Sunrise Sustainability Action Plan, Sunrise strives to protect vital resources - including water, air, and natural areas - and to promote a culture of sustainability in our community.

Our Be A Butterfly Hero Program advances those goals by supporting biodiversity and habitat. Butterflies aren't the only creatures that benefit, however! By encouraging the planting of native habitat gardens we are providing vital natural connective corridors and important food sources for our other local species as well. One such species is the Burrowing Owl.

Planting a butterfly garden in south Florida is one way to help restore some of the habitat that has been lost to development and provide resources for wild butterflies to thrive and grow. It's easy to Be A Butterfly Hero, it is not the size of the space but quality that matters. Here's what you need:

  • Provide food in the form of foliage or flowers that you are willing to have eaten by caterpillars or adult butterflies. Native plants that flower, have fleshy fruit and berries, nuts and acorns provide food for wildlife. 
  • Have a water source. Even a small water feature or puddle area can be used by wildlife. Bird baths and fountains can be installed - but clean every few days to prevent mosquito breeding and bacterial contamination (simply scrub with a brush, no soap or bleach, please!). Is there a canal, lake or pond close enough to see that doesn't cross a major roadway? If so, you already have a water source.
  • Like us, wildlife need shelter. Make sure your space has bushy shrubs, ground cover plants, or a small wood or log pile.
  • Ensure there are places to raise young.  For butterflies that mean you'll need larval "host plants" that caterpillars eat (see 3 plants below to attract 7 butterflies). If you have a shade tree in your yard that counts as a nesting place. You could also install a bat box or an artificial burrow.

Why are butterflies important? 

Butterflies are pollinators that are important to our ecosystem and to agriculture – did you know that the production of 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat depends on pollinators?

Butterfly and other pollinator populations are in decline and YOU can make a difference! For example, the monarch butterfly, whose populations have declined 90% over the last decade, need Milkweed or Butterfly Weed which are plants with pretty red, yellow or white flowers. Butterflies need nectar from flowering plants, and they need host plants for the hungry caterpillars. Each type of butterfly likes certain plants. To help you get started, here are three plants that support seven butterflies!

Plant these 3 flowers...
Native Milkweed
Passion Flower
Bahama Cassia

  To Attract 7 types of butterflies!
Gulf Fritillary
Cloudless Sulfur
Monarch
Orange-Barred Sulphur
Queen
Zebra Longwing

 

Useful Resources for Sustainable Landscaping and Butterfly Gardens 

Plant Finder Tools

Planting the "Right Plant, Right Place" is the key to a sustainable garden or landscape. Use these resources to help.

  • Need help selecting the right tree, shrub, or flowers? Check out this Plant Finder Tool
  • Enter your zipcode on the Natives for Your Neighborhood website to get a list of recommended plants.
  • Shop local, Broward Parks typically host Native Plant Sales each summer.
  • Watch for local events that may offer free plants like Water Maters Day (2nd Saturday of March), and Sunrise Earth Day Festival.

Have a specific gardening question or an ailing plant? 

  • You can email MasterGardener@broward.org with your questions! It is helpful to include a photo and a pencil next to the plant to provide indication of size.
  • Prefer talking to someone? Bring your ailing plant (or a cutting) to one of the six Master Gardener Service Centers located throughout the County. The days and hours of service vary, so call the park of your choice to find out its schedule. Nearby locations are:
    • C.B. Smith Park, 900 N. Flamingo Rd., Pembroke Pines 954-357-5170
    • Central Broward Regional Park, 3700 N.W. 11th Place, Lauderhill 954-357-5400
    • Plantation Heritage Park, 1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 954-357-5135

Attend a monthly gardening workshop!

The Broward Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association monthly meetings often feature wonderful guest speakers.

NEED HELP?

If you are interested in adding butterfly-friendly plants or other wildlife habitats to the landscape at your school, workplace, or community and need guidance, information about getting certified, or to request an educational presentation, contact: