Monarch butterflies in the Sudbury area will have more local dining options thanks to the Greater Sudbury Pollinator Garden Project.
The project is a collaboration between a large number of local groups, and organizers are giving away milkweed seeds to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.
“We really wanted to do something practical to celebrate Earth Day,” says Rachelle Niemela, a project co-lead. “Planting milkweed is something simple that anyone can do, but it's really important.”
Intensive agriculture and other rural land development has led to a loss of milkweed across monarch breeding areas and is believed to be contributing to their reduced numbers.
Milkweed acts as a host plant during the caterpillar stage of the monarch butterfly and can help rebuild dwindling populations.
The free milkweed seeds are available at Seasons Pharmacy & Culinaria at 815 Lorne St. during their regular hours.
The Greater Sudbury Pollinator Garden Project began last year with the aim of encouraging Sudburians to plant gardens to support butterflies and other pollinator species.
More information can be found online here.
The group plans to add to the educational materials on the website and hopes more people will submit information about their own gardens to be added to the map that was started last year.
Other activities are being planned to celebrate Canada Pollinator Week (June 21 – 27) and the group is also looking at ways it can work with the City of Greater Sudbury to become more friendly towards pollinator gardens.