Led by Great River Greening, a large partnership of conservation organizations and government agencies (including U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, MnDNR, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and County Parks) worked together to address the plight of the Monarch butterfly through coordinated and targeted restoration/enhancement work across theTwin Cities Metro and adjacent Anoka Sand Plain Ecoregion. Private match dollars helped leverage this grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, one of only 20 grants awarded, and the only one in Minnesota in the 2016 round.
We restored over 1300 acres of prairie, savanna and shoreland habitat through site prep, seeding of a diverse native seed mix (rich in milkweed and Monarch nectar plants), and subsequent management to ensure restoration efforts are successful.
In 2016 and 2017, Great River Greening and an extensive network of volunteers embarked on the Million Milkweed Seed Initiative, and collected over 1.8 million seeds of four local milkweed species from carefully tracked locations. Theses seeds were either planted directly or grown into plugs for public and private restoration sites and private landowners throughout the Twin Cities Metro and Anoka Sand Plain Ecoregion. The Million Milkweed Seed Initiative has engaged over 500 volunteers, in collection, direct seeding, and plugging of the four milkweed species.