Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch, said the effort would include volunteers collecting milkweed seeds and sending them to Monarch Watch, which will then put the seeds in seed mixes targeted for restoration projects. It’s hoped the seeds could be more widely distributed so more people can plant milkweeds.
The organization already has helped create more than 4,000 monarch waystations, with personal gardens featuring plants that are friendly to monarch caterpillars and butterflies.
“We have to mitigate this situation, or the (monarch) population will continue to go down, down, down,” Taylor said.
Priya Shahani is program coordinator for the Monarch Joint Venture project at the University of Minnesota, which has collaborated with Monarch Watch — among numerous other agencies and organizations — on projects in the past. She said Taylor’s project was an important one for her organization’s goals, including preserving the butterflies’ migration.
“We’re excited that this work could provide habitats for monarchs,” as well as other pollinators, she said.