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5 Snapshots to a Happier Yard & Happier Earth! (Part I)

It’s no secret that We ♥ Butterflies, and we’re always looking for ways to get you involved! See how we’re cultivating a happy planet below.

1. Butterfly Milkweed Seeds in All Their Fluffball Glory! – We have an abundance of Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) in our traditional gardens and natural areas, so we always have a ready supply of seeds to devote to our “free butterflies” plant initiatives.

2. Hey, Don’t You Dare Throw That Away! – We use and reuse the plastic pots and trays from our previous season’s annual flower programs to start the first wave of baby plants as early as February.

3. Step Right Up and Get Your Free Pretty Orange Plant! – You’ve probably seen us in action at our larger CPD events like CU Days at Douglass Park and the Taste of Champaign-Urbana at West Side Park. We want at least one of these plants in every yard so that monarchs and other pollinators don’t have to search very long for their next meal or egg-laying site.

4. Here’s Proof That It Works! – This photo was taken in mid-April. It shows some monarch eggs on one of the 1000 butterfly milkweed plants that we handed out last summer.

5. Zoom In, Please! – Check out the sublime beauty of this little work of art. In a matter of days, the tiny caterpillar will eat its way out of that egg and commence to gorging itself on the leaves of the milkweed plant.

Read Part II!

Authored by Randy Hauser, Horticulture Supervisor: randy.hauser@champaignparks.com

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