Winnebago-Boone

Illinois Monarch Project


Pollinators, the busy bees behind the scenes, are essential for sustainability of our ecosystems and natural resources. A coalition of scientists and eleven organizations and agencies in Illinois have developed a mowing resource to help Illinois residents and land managers provide food for pollinators, who in turn do the same for us.

The Illinois Monarch Project (IMP) Mowing Guidance outlines recommendations for landowners and a variety of different land managers on mowing practices that best protect pollinators as they migrate through or live out their lives in Illinois.

“The IMP has been working very hard on articulating a long-range conservation plan for the monarch butterfly,” said Illinois Farm Bureau Associate Director of Natural and Environmental Resources Lyndsey Ramsey. “This guide is the first work product of the IMP Science Committee, and came in response to a lot of questions from farmers and the agriculture sector about how they can mow better to support pollinators. We even developed the second, more detailed document, ‘Mowing on the Farm,’ to get into specifics about what farmers can do on their land.”

The Science Committee is comprised of biology and conservation experts that support the IMP in developing appropriate and effective conservation practices that will improve Illinois for monarch butterflies and other pollinators, in addition to other wildlife that benefit from the same habitat.

The Illinois Monarch Project (IMP) was established to bring together representatives of various sectors, including natural lands, rights-of-way, urban and agricultural sectors, as well as scientists and educators. The mission of IMP is to help monarch butterflies thrive throughout Illinois by collaborating on conservation activities and encouraging engagement by public and private landowners across diverse urban and rural landscapes.

“All of the sectors involved are trying to do the best we can for wildlife, and we believe this guide answers a lot of the questions surrounding pollinator-friendly mowing strategies for rural roadsides, habitat areas, working lands and urban yards and campuses,” said Sue Hargrove, Science Committee Chair and biologist at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Some of the main mowing concepts proposed by the Science Committee include:

  • Only mowing if necessary, and only for treatment of invasive species or woody encroachment
  • Mowing in “strips” – only mowing one-third of an area at a time to allow for more diversity and also refuge for wildlife
  • Articulating better mowing methods that benefit monarchs throughout the season, including fall migration


Groups involved in the Illinois Monarch Project Mowing Guidance and Mowing on the Farm Guidance include:

  • Illinois Corn Growers Association
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Farm Bureau
  • Illinois Natural History Survey
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service


View both Mowing Guidance documents at: http://www.ilfb.org/MowingOnTheFarm.


Working with scientists and releasing a mowing guidance document was a goal articulated by the agriculture sector in their Agriculture Action Plan for the monarch. You can read more at www.ilagformonarchs.org.

 

Pollinators


At WBFB and IFB, we understand the importance of pollinators to our food system and to the ecosystem overall. That is why we have embarked on a campaign to educate our membership about the latest science involving pollinators, the best management practices that are proven to protect pollinators and the technical information needed to create and improve habitat for pollinators on farms. Read more.

Monarch Watch's Milkweed Market for Homeowners!


As you may or may not know, the monarch butterfly is in decline and they need milkweeds and other nectar sources to be planted across the landscape to support their fantastic tri-national migration. One of the key frustrations many gardeners, conservationists, and land managers face in their conservation efforts is the inability to find locally appropriate milkweed plants to provide this much-needed habitat. 

In response, Monarch Watch has created the Milkweed Market to assist those who are looking for regionally appropriate milkweeds to incorporate into their garden, restoration, landscaping, or to sell in their garden center. The Milkweed Market provides the opportunity to get low cost or free (for non-profits and schools) milkweed seedlings for your projects. You simply need to order ahead of time, to make sure they can meet the upcoming year's demand. 

As part of a North American Pollinator Protection Campaign effort, members of the Monarch Task Force are working to spread the word about this great resource and let you know that the time to order is now. Please see the below message from Monarch Watch to find out more, and share this with your network as you see fit!

Pollinators Seminar-

Rusty Patch Bumble Bee


Monarch Watch's Milkweed Market for Homeowners!


As you may or may not know, the monarch butterfly is in decline and they need milkweeds and other nectar sources to be planted across the landscape to support their fantastic tri-national migration. One of the key frustrations many gardeners, conservationists, and land managers face in their conservation efforts is the inability to find locally appropriate milkweed plants to provide this much-needed habitat. 

In response, Monarch Watch has created the Milkweed Market to assist those who are looking for regionally appropriate milkweeds to incorporate into their garden, restoration, landscaping, or to sell in their garden center. The Milkweed Market provides the opportunity to get low cost or free (for non-profits and schools) milkweed seedlings for your projects. You simply need to order ahead of time, to make sure they can meet the upcoming year's demand. 

As part of a North American Pollinator Protection Campaign effort, members of the Monarch Task Force are working to spread the word about this great resource and let you know that the time to order is now. Please see the below message from Monarch Watch to find out more, and share this with your network as you see fit!



Three ways to get milkweed seedlings: order now from Monarch Watch for Spring 2019 plants!


Monarch Watch is excited to report that with our partner nurseries in Kansas, Oklahoma, California, and Florida, we distributed over 147,000 milkweed seedlings in 2018. Planning for Spring 2019 begins now. Preorders and early applications are necessary to help us determine how many plants we need to grow.

Please help get the word out about these three ways to get milkweed plants, and put your order in now!

1.      Milkweeds are available for purchase by the flat through our Milkweed Market. Preorder for Spring 2019 here: https://monarchwatch.org/milkweed/market/

2.      We have funding in place to distribute 100,000 FREE milkweeds for restoration projects. We are currently accepting applications for Spring 2019. The link to the free milkweed information page and application is provided below. This grant provides free milkweeds for large-scale (2+ acres) habitat restorations on both private and public lands. http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/free-milkweeds-for-restoration-projects/

3.      Through a separate grant, schools and educational non-profit organizations can apply for one free flat of milkweed for Spring 2019 at this link: https://biosurvey.ku.edu/application-free-milkweed-nonprofits-and-schools

Thank you for your help in spreading the word and planting more milkweed for monarchs. If you do not see milkweed available for you now, re-visit the Milkweed Market later to see if we have added products based on new seed acquisitions. 

Please contact Dena Podrebarac at Monarch Watch with any questions at denap@ku.edu.