Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Pilot Projects

Nebraska State Parks Restoration of Pollinator Habitat

Commission des parcs et des réserves fauniques du Nebraska

United States


Agency Type

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat

Original Language

Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail is a heavily used recreational trail that stretches across a large portion of northern Nebraska. “The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and partners will restore 140 acres [56 hectares] of low quality grasslands adjacent to the Cowboy Trail to high quality monarch habitat. The project will collaborate with multiple monarch conservation groups and organizations, facilitate workshops for plug planting, and maintain and monitor the additional habitat acreage” (Edelen 2015).

In addition to restoration along the Cowboy Trail, 13 state parks with the highest visitation numbers in the state park system will undergo habitat restoration, providing a link to other pollinator sites across Nebraska. These target parks will also be sites for school and community outdoor education. Site preparation began in 2015, and seeding with a diverse pollinator plant mix will take place in 2016 and continue in 2017. Perhaps the most vital component of this project is the effort to build local support for the project. Citizens from the community will be invited to plant milkweed in an effort to get people invested in the restoration and encourage the long-term sustainability of the restored habitat. Most of this outreach effort will be focused toward schools and community groups (Nelson 2016).

  • Edelen, T. 2015. 2015 Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund Grant Slate. Restoration of Pollinator Habitat along the Cowboy Trail, p. 3.
  • Kirk Nelson. 2016. Planning and Programming Division, Nebraska Games and Parks Commission, Assistant Division Administrator. Personal communication.