Mayor Mark Nexsen proclaims Arbor Day in Lake Havasu City on April 28, 2017, and celebrates by unveiling the newly certified Monarch Butterfly Watch Waystation at Rotary Community Park, located north of the grass bowl area.

Mayor Nexsen read the proclamation aloud to Havasupai 6th graders in attendance, stating Arbor Day is a day set aside for tree planting and is observed throughout the nation and the world. He read “we plant trees, because they can reduce the erosion of our precious topsoil by wind and water, moderate the temperature, produce oxygen, increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas, beautify our community, and provide habitat for wildlife.”

In effort to save the monarch butterfly population that has declined 90% over the past 20 years, Mayor Nexsen joined the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge by pledging to create a monarch butterfly habitat and committing to educate citizens on the importance of building and protecting the monarch butterfly population in Lake Havasu City. Last October, the Maintenance Services Division staff, coordinated by Craig Geary and Monte Montepagano, built the habitat by planting milkweed and other nectar plants for the monarch butterfly to rest, feed, and lay their eggs. A walking path was also installed for individuals to enjoy the beauty and phenomenon of the monarch butterfly migration. Once the project was completed, the University of Kansas Monarch Watch outreach program certified the habitat as an official watch waystation.

More than beautiful, monarch butterflies contribute to the health of our planet and are the most studied butterflies in North America. Second to the bee, they pollinate many cultivated flowers and crops, and serves as an indicator species for the ecological health of large geographic areas. “Lake Havasu City recognized its role to take action in saving the monarch butterfly population, but a greater effort is needed on the part of the public and private organizations and citizens of Lake Havasu City to continue to build and protect monarch butterfly habitats to ensure that we preserve the future of our ecosystem,” said Mayor Nexsen.