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Volunteers Plant Monarch Habitat Along Lakewalk

Baihly Warfield
Updated: July 17, 2018 05:10 PM

Duluth is hoping to be more Monarch butterfly-friendly. 

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The city's Parks and Recreation Department partnered with Duluth Monarch Buddies, Shoreview Natives and Friends of the Lakewalk to plant milkweed and other native and perennial plants along the Lakewalk. 

Tuesday, volunteers worked on a section just east of the Holiday gas station on 26th Avenue E. 

"This was just a lawn turf area, turf grass, and we killed the turf with black plastic, just to cut off the light," Dan Schutte with Shoreview Natives said. "And then we brought in a bunch of compost to amend the soil."

Pollinators like Monarchs are in decline across the globe. Schutte said one of the biggest things humans can do is make sure they have a habitat on the ground. 

"They need flowering, nectar-producing plants that bloom at all seasons throughout the year," Schutte said. "So when we put something like this in, we know we're supporting pollinators for the entire year."

They were planting the perennials through a biodegradable mulching mat. 

"That'll kind of suppress the weeds around the perennials for the next 4-5 years. And then at the same time, those perennials will be spreading underneath that mat," Schutte explained. 

He said that people don't need a lot of space to plant pollinator-friendly species. Oftentimes, he suggests putting native plants and grasses in areas you don't want to mow anyway. 

The spot on the Lakewalk will be registered as an "official monarch waystation" at MonarchWatch.org

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Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2018 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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