Plant. Grow. Fly. Program



We're partnering with the Blank Park Zoo on this important initiative.  Although you may not want to cuddle a bumblebee or butterfly, you may be surprised to learn that more than one-third of our global food supply depends on pollinators.

In the last day you've likely eaten food and worn affordable clothing thanks to products helped along by these fantastic creatures. A large amount of our world's biodiversity relies on the services pollinators provide and many animals depend on the fruits and seeds they help create to survive.

How to Create Your Garden

Register Your Garden


Why We Are Concerned

Pollinators are in decline due to a variety of reasons including global climate change, loss of habitat and feeding resources, and some modern agricultural practices. Butterflies, for instance, require large corridors of suitable habitat to navigate between nectar sources.  Our increasing rates of development and expanding networks of roads have presented them with formidable challenges. According to Monarch Watch, butterflies lose habitat areas equivalent to the size of Illinois every 16 years - that's an average of 2.2 million acres lost per year.

Butterflies require not only connecting high quality swaths of habitat, but also specific types of plants that help them to feed and reproduce: nectar plants and host plants, respectively.  Each species of butterfly has specific sets of needs these plants must meet to be used. In Iowa, the majority of our butterflies need region-specific grassland plants. However, these plants are just as threatened as the butterflies they help: since European settlement, Iowa has lost more than 99.9% of its native tallgrass prairie. Iowa butterflies - and the habitats in which they live - need our help. 


How You Can Help

You can join Plant.Grow.Fly. by creating a much-needed pollinator habitat at your home, school or even place of work! Our expertly researched garden recipes will help you to plant flower and grasses that benefit local species the most.

Our easy-to-follow recipes can be formed to your landscaping needs, from pet-friendly to sweet smelling, low-budget to no-expenses spared. Gardens can range from several plants in a pot to a whole backyard ecosystem! Once you register your garden you can order a Plant.Grow.Fly. sign to proudly display in your new habitat, showing your support of our Midwestern pollinators.