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Windsor Terrace doesn’t need more cops, traffic mitigation or new businesses.
To Jennifer Hopkins, what the neighborhood needs is more Painted Ladies and Monarchs.
Hopkins has made a mission out of bringing more butterflies to the neighborhood, which she sees as a perfect rest stop for the beautiful winged insects as they travel between Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park.
It would also be a great way to beautify an already bucolic neighborhood, she said, explaining that the right plants could turn Windsor Terrace into butterfly central.
“It’s a planting project that I’ve been involved with for the last seven or eight years,” she told members of the Windsor Terrace Alliance recently. “You can make the community a habitat for butterflies if you plant flowers that have nectar in them.”
Like bees are attracted to honey, butterflies make a bee-line to nectar generating flowers like asters, purple coneflowers, Corepsis, sunflowers, wild geraniums and the aptly named Butterfly Bush and Butterfly Weed.
All interested parties have to do is replace the common petunias and marigolds found in the community with the plants listed above, she said.
“They look the same and are just as fragrant,” Hopkins explained. “The more of these plants we bring to the community, the more butterflies we are going to see.”
If residents don’t like flowers, they can put in bird baths, which butterflies – as well as birds — like to hang out by.
If Windsor Terrace is lucky, this push for new plants could bring Monarch butterflies, which travel upwards of 3,000 miles from Mexico to North America each year, to the neighborhood. Other popular migratory butterflies are Painted Ladies and Danine butterflies.
Officials from Prospect Park’s Audubon Center said that their 585-acre urban oasis is already home to a population of Painted Ladies. Plenty of Angel Wing, Morning Cloak, Orange Sulfer and Spring Azure butterflies can also be found amid the park’s flowers and trees, they said.
As an added benefit to Windsor Terrace, the nectar generating plants that will coax more butterflies to the neighborhood are also “spring and summer blooming flowers,” Hopkins explained.
“They would be great to see in playgrounds and in front of our library,” she said, encouraging her neighbors to plant the nectar bearing flowers in their front yards and back yards. Hopkins is even trying to see if she can plant these flowers along portions of the Prospect Expressway.
“Anyone can help. Even if you don’t want to do it yourself, let me know and I’ll plant the flowers for you.”
“It’s very green and it’s a good way to help out New York City’s wildlife,” she said.
Anyone wishing to join Hopkins on her crusade to bring more butterflies to Windsor Terrace can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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