December 2, 2022
Many pollinator populations, including the Monarch Butterfly population, are declining. Pollinators spread pollen between flower species and are critical to our ecosystem. Habitat loss is one of the major factors contributing to the pollinator decline. To combat these declines in the Monarch population, the OU Environmental Concerns Committee has developed a campus butterfly habitat.
Jennifer Wise Butterfly Garden
A section of the Sarkeys Energy Center Rooftop Garden has now been designated the Jennifer Wise Butterfly Garden. This project was headed by Bruce Hoagland, Geography Professor within the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, Bret Betnar, College of Architecture, OU Landscaping Services, and Allison Richardson, Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. The garden contains over 200 milkweeds, as well as other pollinator-friendly plants. The garden also contains walkways and stone benches to foster areas of congregation. The garden is now recognized as a Monarch waystation––a place that provides sufficient resources for Monarch butterflies to reproduce and complete their migrations.
The University’s Landscaping Department was critical in the construction of the Jennifer Wise Butterfly Garden. The client provided sketches of their vision for the garden and the Landscaping Department demolished the existing landscaping at the site, shaped the area to properly shed water, and installed the required irrigation as well as pathways and benches. After the client planted their desired plants, the Landscaping Department then laid the mulch. Landscaping’s Gardening Team also helped coach the client during the planting process.