HomeNewsField Day to Focus on Growing Monarch and Pollinator Habitat

Field Day to Focus on Growing Monarch and Pollinator Habitat

Event to be held in Orange City and feature tour of monarch habitat

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, together with Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS), will host a monarch and pollinator field day on August 21 at Prairie Ridge Care Center, which is owned and operated by OCAHS. The program will run from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and includes a field tour of the monarch/pollinator habitat that has been planted at Prairie Ridge Care Center, located at 1005 7th Street NW in Orange City. It is designed for landowners and families who want to learn more about planting pollinator habitat. There is no cost to attend but please RSVP to Sioux County Extension via email ([email protected]) or phone (712) 737-4230. Refreshments and on-site parking will be provided. Seth Appelgate, agricultural specialist with Iowa State University, will speak about establishing monarch/pollinator habitat. Information about habitat assistance and cost share programs will be provided by Troy Davelaar, biologist with Pheasants Forever. “The monarch butterfly population east of the Rocky Mountains has declined over the past 20 years, and Iowa can play a big role in their recovery,” said Appelgate. “Monarch larvae feed exclusively on milkweed while adult monarchs depend on nectar plants as food sources. Iowa State University has established habitat demonstration projects across the state and is collecting data from these sites in order to develop habitat establishment best management practices and to help researchers understand how monarchs utilize the new habitat.” For youth attending the field day, Monarchs on the Move will be there with hands-on activities. Monarchs on the Move is a 4-H program created through ISU Extension and Outreach, with activities that focus on monarch biology, habitat, and ways to increase habitat for monarch butterflies and pollinators. Youth can experience life as a monarch caterpillar on a milkweed plant with a life-sized milkweed model and explore satellite images to look for opportunities to plant habitat.

Monarch butterfly drinks nectar from a rough blazing star plant

Field day participants tour a monarch habitat demonstration site with Seth Appelgate, Iowa State University ag specialist