Palmerston North's Apollo Park has received certification that it is a great example of a butterfly habitat.
The Moths and Butterflies of New Zealand Trust handed over the official plaque to mayor Grant Smith and community volunteers at Apollo Park on December 12.
Moths and Butterflies founding trustee Jacqui Knight says the trust is concerned that butterfly habitat is on the decline.
"Most people in New Zealand no longer recognise any butterfly species besides the monarch and the cabbage white.
"We are seeing far less of our endemic species every year, and they are so special.
"Nowhere else in the world can you find the beautiful New Zealand red admiral or the forest ringlet.
"And many of our moth species are spectacular too."
Since 2009 the trust has been searching up and down the country for examples of good butterfly habitat.
Those habitats granted certification must provide assurances that they host at least three different species and provide other requirements that butterflies and moths need: pesticide-free, shelter and maximum sun.
Mayor Grant Smith says it's great for Palmy to receive the recognition.
"This award really shows the power of our community and their hard work and commitment in transforming this park into a sanctuary for our native butterflies.
"Paul Vandenberg especially deserves special mention for noticing the butterflies hibernating back in 2012, and making an effort to ensure there are more plants to attract more butterflies each year.
"A number of community groups have got on board with this special work which has seen Apollo Park nicknamed Butterfly Park due to its regular guests, which can be spotted between December and April."
Mayor Smith says the amazing community effort meant that when the playground was renovated in 2017, butterfly features were installed to pay tribute to the park's unique character.
Trust chairman Maurice Mehlhopt, who reviewed the park for certification, says it is an impressive park.
"It's great to see that this habitat in a city park is being created and maintained by volunteers."
Images and a video of the butterflies at Apollo Park can be downloaded from this link: https://pncc.canto.global/b/NC0EG