A new mural celebrating the habitat restoration and conservation initiatives implemented by the City of McAllen at Quinta Mazatlán to protect the iconic and at-risk monarch butterfly was unveiled earlier today by Mayor Javier Villalobos. The artwork, titled “Destino Monarco” after the National Wildlife Federation’s monarch conservation plan, was created by the renowned artist Irving Cano.
“The iconic monarch butterfly is in deep danger due to deforestation and climate change but across backyards, towns, and cities, individual actions have made an enormous difference in supporting this unique species,” said Dr. Rebeca Quiñonez-Piñón, chief monarch recovery strategist for the National Wildlife Federation. “Texas is a crucial piece to the monarch conservation puzzle and a vital state for the eastern migratory monarch butterfly by serving as a refuge and breeding ground, providing native milkweed during the spring and fall migrations. McAllen and its residents have demonstrated their commitment to protecting monarch butterflies and we thank them for their incredible collaborative contributions to monarch conservation in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.”
“This mural at Quinta Mazatlan serves as a tool to help celebrate the monarch butterfly. Irving Cano’s art tells the story of our natural and cultural history in the Rio Grande Valley and inspires people to take action to protect the monarch,” said Mayor Villalobos. “Since taking the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, we have preserved and created more than 39 acres of butterfly gardens, planted over 10,000 native plants, and will continue to advocate for the protection of the monarch butterfly and all living things for the health of all.”
Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and H-E-B Grocery Company LP, the mural is located at the Quinta Mazatlan, World Birding Center at 600 Sunset Dr., McAllen, Texas. The City of McAllen has committed to the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayor’s Monarch Pledge since 2015 and recently collaborated with the Federation to restore climate-resilient native habitat, an effort that helps to put into effect the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas’ monarch conservation plan. For McAllen, the plan includes creating an additional 25 acres of pollinator-friendly habitat.
As part of the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, the City of McAllen has achieved action items in the categories of Communications and Convening, as well as Program and Demonstration Gardens. Highlights include hosting four Monarch Festivals, organizing over 50 native plant sales and giveaways; creating butterfly gardens at 10 elementary schools; and now, creating an art project with the “Destino Monarco” mural at Quinta Mazatlan in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation.
Through the Mayors' Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities like McAllen commit to create habitat for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and educate residents about how they can make a difference at home and in their community. The program recently set a new milestone with 345 mayors and communities taking the pledge.