CRESTON, Iowa — Landowners and families who want to learn more about planting monarch and pollinator habitat should consider attending a field day Aug. 26 near Creston.
The event is being hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Pheasants Forever, USDA-NRCS and the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Dana Schweitzer, coordinator for the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, will give an overview of monarch biology and population decline.
Kelsey Fleming, farm bill biologist with Iowa Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, will share information about monarch habitat assistance and cost share programs to establish habitat on private land.
“Conservation practices that include diverse habitat can provide benefits for Iowa’s wildlife, soil health and water quality,” said Fleming. “Anyone with questions about planting or maintaining pollinator habitat, no matter the number of acres, is welcome to attend.”
The monarch butterfly population east of the Rocky Mountains has been in decline for the past 20 years, and Iowa is in the heart of the population’s summer breeding range. Monarch larvae feed on milkweed plants exclusively while adult monarchs rely on nectar plants as a food source.
Pollinator habitat — with a diversity of blooming species and milkweed — can help the monarch survive and thrive in Iowa.
Registration and lunch at the O’Riley Center (417 Wyoming Ave., Creston, IA 50801) will begin at noon followed by a field tour of pollinator habitat from 1-2:30 p.m.
There is no cost to attend. Free lunch for attendees will be served at the O’Riley Center followed by a tour of the habitat field site at the corner of 205th Street and Hawk Ave.
To assist with meal planning, RSVP to Union County Soil and Water Conservation District at 641-782-4218 Ext. 3, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelsey Fleming, Farm Bill Wildlife Biologist - Iowa Pheasants Forever, 712-660-0880, email@example.com