Butterfly Beltway

The journey of the monarch butterfly is one fraught with peril, immeasurable obstacles, and a multiple generational round trip over thousands of miles.

A sign of warmer days, sunshine, and fragrant flowers; a monarch butterfly sighting means all those things and more here in Western New York.

The third-generation monarch of the year is born locally, staying locally, it needs pollinating plants and egg hosting sites of milkweed. These sites become the birthplace of the fourth generation.  The fourth generation of monarch uses pollinator habitat to prepare for the thousands of miles’ journey to overwinter and then lay next year’s first generation butterfly. Seneca Park Zoo has been conserving pollinator sites since 2002 with our Butterfly Beltway programs.

There are several ways you can participate to make a conservation impact on monarch butterflies and other native wildlife. Explore the options below.

Pollinator Gardens

When you have us come to you for a garden planting, you will receive New York native plants that are specifically chosen to feed and support a host of native wildlife. Our pricing is flexible, and grants are available to select organizations thanks to the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation.

Each pollinator garden planting includes:

  • A discussion about the importance of pollinators with our expert staff
  • Native plants
    Guide (A booklet of relevant information on your garden, including plant profiles, contact information, and DIY information.)
  • Seed donation program
  • Instructions and guidance in citizen science activities
  • Inclusion in programs like Habitat Network, Monarch Waystation
    If you need us to do more, like maintenance, winter preparation, or more talks, we can always provide you with custom services.

Garden sizing can be as little as 50 square feet, and as large as 10,000 square feet. For larger plots, corporate or residential, we provide scaled out solutions to maximize pollinator habitat & providing meaningful ways for you to enjoy and contribute.

Habitat Activation

Learn how to be engaged with and see all the life your habitat supports.  Staff leads you on a biosurvey of your garden/habitat.

Seed Packets

For those that want to plant their own gardens, or restore larger plots of habitat, we sell specially formulated seed mixes for a variety of use cases.  Available in sizes that cover 100 square feet to 100 acres. 

Residential mix: A mix best used along the edges of your property, it features grasses and flowers that grow only 3-4 feet.  This native mix is specially formulated with annual and perennial flowers so you have color and growth throughout the warm seasons. 

Prairie mix: The best mix we have with the most species of plants that supports the most species of wildlife.  Our mix features annual and perennial flowers and native grasses meant to grow in wide open spaces.  So far we have identified over 500 species of insects found in New York that are attracted to the plants in this mix. 

Brighton Wildflower mix:
 A flower only mix that was originally made for the Town of Brighton. This is a favorite of ours, and looks great in your flower beds and around your house/structures. There is no grass seed in this mix.

Solar Array mix: This mix is meant to be planted in solar array fields.  Originally we developed this mix for NYS DEC region 4 Solar field.  This mix shows color all season.  


Have you previously purchased a seed packet and planted your own pollinator garden? Click here to register your garden site!

iNaturalist puts nature at your fingertips. 
Start sharing your wildlife observations with us today. 
Learn more.

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Register Your Garden

Every day is a great day to visit the Zoo. Experience life on the wild side, enjoy up-close animal interactions and support global conservation efforts—right here at the Zoo. Reserve your tickets now for quick and easy entry, and enjoy more time connecting with wildlife.

April 1 through October 31

November 1 through March 31

Zoo opens at 9:30 a.m. for our Zoo members.
Open all year long. Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.