About the Project
In 2016, the City of St. Louis was awarded a grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to establish the St. Louis Riverfront Butterfly Byway.
This grant allowed Brightside and the City to expand Milkweeds for Monarchs: The St. Louis Butterfly Project from a small, individual garden scale to a larger landscape scale. The primary goals of the project are to:
- Convert 30 acres of underutilized land within two miles of the Mississippi Riverfront into prairie, which will serve as productive habitat for monarch butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife species; and
- Engage and inform city residents about how they can support pollinator conservation in their own neighborhoods.
St. Louis is situated in the midst of the eastern monarch’s migratory pattern and just below the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the most heavily used migratory bird flyway. This project provides a unique opportunity to support important wildlife, while also connecting city residents to the splendor of tallgrass prairie: our natural heritage.
Before human development, the majority of the St. Louis region was covered in tallgrass prairie. Today, less than 1/10 of 1% of tallgrass prairie remains in Missouri. Besides serving as habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, prairies provide other important environmental benefits such as sequestering carbon, filtering and absorbing storm water, and controlling erosion.