Registration is now open for the MiGreat Challenge, a City-hosted competition to create beautiful, monarch butterfly-friendly gardens.

Prizes will be given to the first, second and third place gardens. Prizes include an official certification from Monarch Watch as a monarch waystation, compost tea from Bobcat Blend, free plants of your choice from the Discovery Center and community recognition as the most beautiful monarch gardens in San Marcos.

 “As monarch butterflies lose natural habitat as a result of development, they need substitute resources on their migration,” said Melani Howard, Watershed Manager for the City of San Marcos. “Monarchs fly across the continent every year, and the challenge is to make San Marcos a source of food and shelter as they make this journey.”

Contestants must:

1. Be a resident of San Marcos

2. Use primarily perennial native/adapted nectar source plants, exotic perennial plants may be added as container gardens only. Refer to: Grow Greens Native & Adapted Landscape Plants: an Earthwise guide for Central Texas.

3. Include at least TWO TYPES of native milkweed plants as larval host’s plants (available at the Discovery Center).

4. Use a variety of plants that bloom throughout the year

5. Plant a minimum garden size of 5’x5’

6. Include a source of water (shallow water container, drip system, etc.)

7. Include a sunny area. Monarch butterflies require sunlight to stay active. Registration for the competition will end May 25 and judges will begin inspecting registered gardens on June 1.

To take part in this competition register here.

For more information, contact Melani Howard at or 512.395.5942.