|$5,000 is budgeted annually in the Township's Environmental Services budget for pollinator related programs and services. The goal of this grant application project is to leverage the Township’s match with the National Fish and Wldflife Foundation (NWFW) Grant to create a pollinator habitat. The estimated project budget is $51,000, which would be the amount applied for in the grant. Matching funds equal to the grant amount are required and would be funded by the $5,000 in the Township’s Pollinator Program budget (match); $10,000 from partners (Project PolliNation and Monarch Gateway); and $36,000 through in-kind donations including land value, donated plants and seed from partners, and Township staff time.
|In 2017, The Woodlands Township Board of Directors approved the initiative to create a 5-year plan to support pollinators starting in 2018. As a potential and significant component of that plan, Environmental Services has identified a 10-acre area of Windvale Park in the Village of Alden Bridge as a possible future site for the Township’s flagship monarch and pollinator habitat restoration project. The proposal focuses on the detention pond perimeter, slope, and surrounding ground; and several areas that abut the surrounding hike/bike path. It’s designed to increase the number of monarch butterflies, providing plenty of host plants to support breeding females and their offspring and rich nectar sources for refueling adult butterflies during the monarchs’ spring and fall migrations through Texas. In providing all this, the project will also help protect all native bees and other types of butterflies.
The intended design and subsequent outcome of the restoration project would be a self-perpetuating natural habitat—not a manicured garden or maintained landscape. While regular and periodic monitoring will be required ongoing that may identify needs such as invasive species eradication, reseeding, or mulching in areas until plantings fill in, it would be a “hands-off” area for the Township’s outsourced landscape maintenance crews.
The project is contingent on being awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund grant, slated for distribution in August, 2019. The grant pre-application process begins in March, 2019, with invitations for submitting a full proposal announced in April. NFWF grants fund projects from $50,000 to $150,000. While the grant is very competitive, we believe The Woodlands Township is in an excellent position for consideration, mostly due to its goal to become a Monarch Champion City as recognized by National Wildlife Federation, and its established partnerships with supporting and matching organizations. Partnering organizations include Texas Parks & Wildlife, Monarch Gateway, and Project PolliNation.
Project planning is slated for fall and winter 2019, the first phase of implementation for spring of 2020, and the second and final implementation phase would take place fall 2020.
As part of the Township’s grant pre-application, letters from both the land owner (MUD) and land use operator (The Woodlands Township) stating that the land in question has been approved for this purpose are required. Woodlands Joint Powers Agency, as agent for the MUD has granted permission to use the land.
If implemented, the Windvale Park project could be a cornerstone of The Woodlands’ Pollinator Support Program and increase community awareness, engagement, and involvement in monarch and pollinator conservation.
Please see Attachment A for specific information related to the Project Description, Site Map, Timing, Budget and Matching Contributions.