Mowing to Monarchs

monarch butterflies by milkweed

This program is an effort to encourage Dubuque County residents, cities, and county departments to establish residential pollinator habitat. Mowing to Monarchs focuses on encouraging three planting types; native pocket planting, pollinator beneficial trees and shrubs, and pollinator meadows.  All types vary in their requirements of space, money, timing, and maintenance but, we believe there is a project for everyone.

Why are these pollinator plantings important?

It is estimated that 70-87% of flowering plants rely on pollinators. What is a pollinator? It’s any organism that helps cross-pollinate plants. Do you like fruits and vegetables? Okay then, what about chocolate and coffee? Well, there would be none of those without pollinators and they need your help! Pollinator populations have been steadily declining and it can be attributed to habitat loss as well as pesticide use and pathogens.

Mowing to Monarchs Program:

Two types of grants available:

  • Grants for individual landowners implementing pollinator habitat.Up to $350 of native prairie plants! 
  • Grants for local city governments within Dubuque County installing pollinator habitat. Up to $2,500 of native prairie plants! 

Individual Landowner Grant: Mowing to Monarchs offers a combination of workshops, private coaching, planting guides, and funding for installing native pollinator planting in lawns. Dubuque County residents can apply to be awarded a grant for up to $350 in costs associated with establishing pollinator habitat in their yards. Applications for 2021 projects open December 1st, 2020, and can fund up to 60 landowners. Funding decisions and all notifications will be emailed by January 8th for spring 2021 installations. A mandatory workshop will be on May 3rd at 5:30 PM with a later date being scheduled for seed/ plant pick up. 

City Governments Grant: Eligible communities aiming to enhance pollinator habitat in key corridors, raise awareness for residential pollinator protection, and showcase best practices are encouraged to apply. Two local city governments within Dubuque County can be awarded up to $2,500 of prairie plants. 


  • Needs to be Iowa native vegetation that will be supplied for you at a later pick update. 
  • Nonherbicide methods of site prep—soil solarization, sod removal, etc. 
  • Mandatory on-site prairie planting check will occur in the fall of 2021 on your planting. 

Applications have closed for this round of funding.