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How to help the monarchs now

The first wave of butterfly species are in Mexico with more on the way

By: | November 23, 2018 5:35 pm

The monarchs have made it! The first wave of butterfly species are in Mexico with more on the way.  Each year the creatures migrate 2,000 miles from their breeding grounds in the Midwest to their wintering site in central Mexico.

But just because the cold has settled in for those of us stuck in the north, doesn’t mean you can’t continue the fight to help the pollinators now.  According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this is the perfect time to start thinking about your pollinator garden for next year.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources agrees now is a good time to plant if you like to grow from seed. That is because many native seed plants require a prolonged period of cold before germinating. Seeds naturally drop to the soil in the fall and sit through the freezing temperatures before germinating in the spring. The Department of Natural Resources suggests lightly raking the soil after spreading the seed to hide seeds from wildlife that may try to eat them. Native plant species that help the pollinators include common milkweed, black-eye susan and purple coneflower.

A couple of Xcel Energy employees braved the cold to spread some native seed including common milk weed and butterfly milkweed this week in Becker, Minn. outside of our Sherco plant.  We are currently working on restoring nearly 800 acres of Oak Savanna habitat at the location.

Xcel Energy currently has more than 1,300 acres of active and potential pollinator habitat at 30 different sites in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

You can follow the monarch migration on the Journey North Reports.

Sarah

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