Conservation of monarchs topic of May 26 program

monarch_butterflyMonarch butterflies are beautiful, but vanishing. The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium was created by Iowa State University, farmer and commodity groups, conservation organizations, private companies and state agencies in February 2015 to enhance monarch reproduction in Iowa. 

On Thursday, May 26, ISU Extension & Outreach – Greene County and Master Gardeners will present a community program with Dr. Bob Hartzler on Iowa efforts to increase habitat and turn around the rapidly declining monarch population. The program will begin at 7 pm.

Hartzler, ISU professor of agronomy and Extension weed scientist, is a member of the ISU Monarch Workgroup at Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium. Hartzler is a native of Indiana who earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University, MS in weed science from Virginia Tech, and his PhD from Penn State University. He is currently a professor of agronomy, teaching and doing research in weed science.

With the population of monarch butterflies in North America declining sharply, there is fear that the species’ migration between Mexico and the United State could be in peril. Conservation efforts in Iowa are focusing on planting milkweed, as monarchs cannot survive without their sole food source and only place they will lay eggs.

The public is invited to attend this free event, and no registration is required. The presentation is made possible through proceeds of the annual Greene County Master Gardeners plant sale.

Upcoming programs include the Summer Webinar Series: Got Shade? – shade plants in the landscape (June 9), Getting to the Bottom of Tree Problems (July 21), What’s All the Buzz About? – Iowa native insects (Aug. 18), and Winterize Your Roses (Oct. 6).

For more information about Greene County Extension, including other agriculture and natural resources programming, call 515-386-2138, email Laura Ballard at lballard [at] iastate [dot] edu, stop by the office at 104 West Washington in Jefferson, or visit our website at www.extension.iastate.edu/greene.

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