The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is among several organizations launching a campaign to help save monarch butterflies and offering free seed packets to individuals, school groups and organizations that would like to participate in the Save the Monarchs Campaign.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, along with the National Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Mississippi River Corridor and The Nature Conservancy are partnering with Roundstone Native Seed Company in an effort to save the Monarchs.
The “Save the Monarchs Campaign” will supply seeds for native wildflower gardens from Roundstone Native Seed Company to any individual or group that wishes to participate. The seeds include a mix of native, nectar-producing flowering plants and milkweeds, which are required to support healthy monarch populations. Funding for this project is being provided by a State Wildlife Grant and donations of funding or in-kind services from the non-profit organizations.
Monarch butterfly populations have declined more than 90 percent in just the past 20 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a status review under the Endangered Species Act. The decrease is largely attributed to severe weather changes, deforestation in Mexico and reduced acreage of protected Midwest farmland under the USDA Farm Bill.
School groups, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood associations are welcome along with individuals to apply for Save the Monarchs seed packets. For information on receiving these seeds, please contact Pandy English in the TWRA Environmental Services Division at (615) 781-6643. Persons are asked to leave a message if directed to voice mail.
Each seed packet will cover approximately 15 feet. Recipients of the seed packets are urged to plant these seeds in open spaces, such as gardens or flowerboxes.