AUSTIN, Texas — On the corner of Main and Metcalfe Streets in Hutto sits the Peterson Community Garden, where a recent expansion hopes to help save the embattled monarch butterflies.
It's all thanks to the group Keep Hutto Beautiful. Jessica Romigh is the chair of directors.
"The monarchs are, as a species, are dying out," she said.
The Peterson Garden is one of seven certified waystations in Hutto. It's the largest and it's open to the public.
Certification must meet guidelines. The most important: having milkweed.
"It is the only host plant for the monarchs. That means it is the only type of plant in which a monarch can lay their eggs," Romigh explained.
Another member of the board, Debbie Holland, said what every conservationist already knows: "Their numbers are certainly declining."
They blame climate change and loss of habitat.
Twice a year, the monarchs pass through Central Texas as they migrate from Canada to Mexico – in the spring and in the fall.
Holland told us what else is in the garden.
"They're drinking the nectar and that's what's feeding them, so all of these blooming plants here are nectar-producing plants for bees and butterflies, hummingbirds," she said.
Holland is a plant expert of sorts.
"I am very passionate about plants," she said.
She showed us one of the six milkweed plants here at the Peterson Garden, including the whorled milkweed.
"So, you see how the flower is kind of flat? That way the butterfly can just land on top of it," said Holland.
So the town known for its love of the hippos is also trying to conserve another.
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