Inside Region 3
Midwest Region
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Purple cone flower, Blazing Star, and Common Milkweed are just a few plants that were planted on Dave Anderson's land. Photos courtesy of (left to right) Eric Heupel/Creative Commons, Joshua Mayer/Creative Commons and Anita Gould/Creative Commons.

Purple cone flower, Blazing Star, and Common Milkweed are just a few plants that were planted on Dave Anderson's land. Photos courtesy of (left to right) Eric Heupel/Creative Commons, Joshua Mayer/Creative Commons and Anita Gould/Creative Commons.

Minnesota Landowner Plants for Pollinators

Landowners all over the Midwest are looking to improve wildlife habitat on their land. Dave Anderson is one such land owner in Minnesota with 30 acres of open field that he wanted to convert to a sanctuary for wildlife. When Dave heard about the need to improve habitat for monarch butterflies, he reached out to the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (Partners Program) for assistance. Dave’s goal was to transform his field to a robust native prairie habitat in three years.

Dave worked with Sheldon Myerchin, Minnesota State Coordinator for the Partners Program to coordinate an all-out seeding frenzy on his land of native plants like common milkweed, blazing star and purple cone flower. Staff from the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Complex assisted by providing the equipment and completed the seeding in one field season. Dave’s three year project is off to a blooming start. For the next two years Dave will need to just maintain upkeep until the prairie is fully developed.

“The seeding aspect of the project was completed early and with high quality selection of plant seeds, all to benefit the monarchs and pollinators alike,” said Dave Anderson. “This partnership has renewed my faith in the active role government agencies and their employees are taking with private landowners to improve the land that we all share.”

The Partners Program has noticed an increase of landowners interested in conservation. The more land owners hear the buzz words monarch, pollinators, bees and native habitat, the more likely they will have a conversation on how to help.

“I've noticed that we get most of our phone calls are from landowners referring one another to our program,” said Sheldon Myerchin. “The media has definitely helped to raise interest in Minnesota communities, and landowners like Dave Anderson have helped spread the word leading to meaningful partnerships among landowners and the Partners Program.”

Just by talking and having the conversation with the people around you can make a difference for conservation.

Projects like this one also utilize partnerships with other agencies and organizations.  The land is permanently protected with an easement held by the Minnesota Land Trust and funding for the project was also provided by a Conservation Partner’s Legacy grant and the Minnesota Waterfowl Association.

To learn more about the monarch initiative visit our website.
 
By Alejandro Morales
Regional Office – External Affairs

 

Mature corn stocks on an sterile field. Photo courtesy of Dave Anderson.
“After D.A.” New shoots of prairie grasses growing in the transformed land. Photo courtesy of Dave Anderson.

Mature corn stocks on an sterile field. Photo courtesy of Dave Anderson.

New shoots of prairie grasses growing in the transformed land. Photo courtesy of Dave Anderson.

New shoots of prairie grasses growing in the transformed land. Photo courtesy of Dave Anderson.

 

Last updated: June 8, 2020