On Saturday, May 20th the North Central Chapter, in conjunction with the City of Fort Worth, hosted a dedication ceremony for the Forest Park Pool Monarch Way Station, located at 2850 Park Pl Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76110.
Message from Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price
Dear My Fellow Monarch Advocates ,
Thank you so much for the kind invitation to join you this morning for the dedication ceremony for the Forest Park Pool Monarch Waystation. I’m sorry that I am unable to be with you during this celebratory occasion. I personally signed the Monarch pledge for the first time in 2015. Since then, I take the pledge annually. This year, I signed the pledge alongside the 6th graders at Trinity Valley School. I applaud the goal of the Monarch Pledge, to promote research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas through education, outreach and example. This program has set a great example for many individuals everywhere of what can be done when you set your mind to making a difference.
Thank you all for your commitment to serve our great city!
Kim Conrow’s Speech - May 20, 2017, Forest Park Pool Monarch Waystation Dedication
Welcome! It's gratifying to see you all here today to help us celebrate and dedicate this garden - the Forest Park Pool Monarch Waystation. The patrons who swim here will walk through the garden on their way to the pool making this is a perfect setting to educate the public about Monarchs and efforts to help them.
One of our Presidents from the 20th Century said, “ When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy was telling us that we can make a difference. We recognize in this crisis the danger of losing a species. We have the opportunity, though applied environmental knowledge and strength of will, to protect the Monarchs and other pollinators so that they will be here long into the future.
It was about ten months ago that my husband Ray and I first saw this pool. We were guided here by Kim Johnson. Kim was a lifeguard at Tarrant County College South and she told us about the renovated pool here and the hours that would suit our schedule. In pursuit of health we landed here early last July. Frankly, I was underwhelmed by the state of the landscaping at the entrance. And with my big mouth I expressed this dismay to the officer on duty. He agreed and said the Director, Alex Ritzhaupt was here and that I should speak to him. I introduced myself, to give my opinion some weight, as the local Native Plant Society's VP, and told Alex what I thought. Alex agreed, the area around the monument/pillar needed help. And then he did what I thought was an amazing thing, he asked did I have any ideas about theses other two areas? Of course I did! Native plants to the rescue and why not make it a Monarch Waystation?
That night I put out a plea to the Chapter Board for help and a Dawn Hancock answered. She and I were here within a day or two and plotted out the area with measurements on paper and decided what would be good plant choices. Dawn had the best ideas! I worked up a landscaping plan using skills I had learned in the Native Plant Society's landscaping classes. Soon after I met with Alex and two of his supervisors - I see Andy MacFarlane here. They agreed, the plan was desirable, if I could come up with the workers, they would buy the plants. Oh, and by the way, it needed to happen before the end of August.
Early in July I wrote up basically what you just heard and sent it to our Society’s Chapter's newsletter. Bill Hopkins read it and asked permission to post it the the Society's State website. I was surprised, honored, and happy! This was turning into a big deal.
For help installing the garden, I reach out and asked for help from the Conservation community and the Boys Scout Troop 554 in Crowley. We have deep roots there in the Troop, our son is an Eagle Scout. The Scouts and the Community answered the call! Members from the • Cross Timbers Master Naturalists • Fort Worth Pollinator Ambassadors • Greater Fort Worth Sierra Club • Master Gardeners of Tarrant County • Native Prairie Association of Texas • ROTC - Crowley High School • and even my Mermaid Yoga friend Rita, all stepped up and pitched in to help. Five and a half weeks after Ray and I first came here, the Waystation was installed.
Weston Gardens, a long-time friend of the Native Plant Society, provided the purchased plants with our Chapter members donating almost as many as were purchased. Now, the Paschal High School Art Department has created public
Art for this garden and the City of Fort worth providing the educational signs for the public. Its quite an effort by many people!
If you were part of those who helped install garden last August 13 and 14, and if you were involved in any way - please stand. Let's give everyone a big hand. This could not have happened without your work! Wonderful.
Kim Johnson tended this garden through last fall and winter and some this spring before leaving for more watery pastures on the Gulf Coast. Now, the crew of lifeguards that are here this summer will tend the garden. It's in its first year and fill out yet - it's still a baby garden. As it matures and even expands a little on the other side of the monument it will provide beauty to the human eye and sustenance to many different pollinators.
The lifeguards have already been learning how to care for the garden. Of course their primary duty here is to monitor the pool and guard the lives of the swimmers. Over the course of their careers as lifeguards they may have the opportunity to save the life or lives of human beings. What an incredible responsibility and worthwhile work. When they take some time this season, here and there, to tend this Monarch Waystation they will be participating in another responsible calling and great opportunity. They will be helping to save a species. Thank you!