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MetroParks is trying trying to support the monarch butterfly. Photo courtesy of Jane Miller.

MetroParks is trying trying to support the monarch butterfly. Photo courtesy of Jane Miller.

Partnering with MetroParks for a common purpose

The Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program has taken its role seriously when it comes to monarch conservation and identifying partners that are willing to get their hands dirty to make a difference for monarch conservation. In Ohio, Private Lands Biologist Donnie Knight Jr. has been assisting Five Rivers MetroParks in near Dayton, Ohio in transforming 62.5 acres of farmland into a pollinator prairie that will benefit migrating monarchs.

Read more below about this partnership.

Saving the Monarchs — and Other Pollinators
 
Five Rivers MetroParks is creating a special natural area just for birds, bees and butterflies — particularly monarchs.
 
To protect the region’s natural heritage, Five Rivers MetroParks will transform 62.5 acres of farmland — located on Boomershine Road, across the street from Germantown MetroPark and near the park’s sled hill entrance — into a pollinator prairie. In a few years, the land will be a prairie that provides the food and nesting sites necessary for pollinators’ survival. Many of the plants will be milkweed, which is critical to monarchs since it’s the only plant on which these distinctive butterflies lay their eggs.

The project is funded by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Fund. Collaborating with landowners to protect the monarch butterfly and reverse the declining population trend is a priority for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which is currently gathering information to determine whether the if monarch needs protection under the Endangered Species Act. Indeed, approximately 6,000 acres of monarch habitat is lost in the United States every day that could be due to climate change. development, habitat fragmentation and pesticide use.

“In general, all pollinators are in trouble — and they’re all necessary for our natural areas and agricultural production,” said Mike Enright, Five Rivers MetroParks Director of Parks and Conservation.

Pollinators are required for 85 percent of the world’s flowering plants to reproduce. Pollinators are food for song birds, and one-third of humans’ food is produced with the help of pollinators.

“Germantown MetroPark is a large natural area close to the Upper Twin Valley Conservation Area,” Enright said. “In this larger, more stable natural area, we have an opportunity to enjoy great success.”

To learn more about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Save the Monarch Initiative visit our website.

To Learn more about the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program visit our website.

To Learn more about the MetroParks visit their website.

This story has been repurposed with permission from MetroParks.

 

Last updated: November 10, 2016