In an effort to bolster the imperiled Monarch butterfly population, Geauga Park District is again propagating native milkweed and is giving it away for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day – so stop by to pick up a free plant for Mom or Dad!
Mother’s Day Giveaway – Sunday, May 10, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The West Woods
Father’s Day Giveaway – Sunday, June 21, Noon to 3 p.m. at The West Woods
Why milkweed? Not only have Monarchs become sparse in Geauga County, but in 2013 Mexico also saw its smallest population overwintering since 1975, when counting began.
A major factor in this sad drop has been loss of habitat, both in the U.S. and in Mexico. Corn and soybean productions are skyrocketing for biofuels, and seeds are genetically modified to tolerate herbicides, minimizing milkweed-containing fields. Also, consider more aggressive mowing and use of herbicides on roadsides and 2.2 million acres of development a year.
“There is great concern for the Monarch population, so we’re trying to educate the public on the plight of the Monarch and what we can do as an agency or individual homeowners,” Park Biologist Paul Pira said. “It’s important to try to make a difference. You can do it with these little plots of milkweed in your yard. It will help.”
Geauga Park District is grateful for the partnership of Kent State University-Geauga in lending space in its Burton greenhouse toward the germination of milkweed and other Park District plants.
This article is brought to you by Geauga Park District