Saturday, 28 June 2014

Audobon Society asks N.J. to grow milkweed

By James M. O'Neill The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)


HACKENSACK, N.J. - Plant some milkweed in your yard this year - and you can help save the monarch butterfly.

Monarch butterflies, known for their migration from across the U.S. down to Mexico each fall, have been in decline for years, and are at the lowest numbers scientists have seen in the several decades they have been tracking them.

The easily identifiable orange-and-black monarchs have been hit hard by a number of factors, but perhaps most devastating is the loss of the one species of plant the monarch lays its eggs on - milkweed.

As a result, the Audubon Society is asking residents to plant milkweed in their gardens and for highway road crews and parks groundskeepers to avoid cutting milkweed that grows wild along roads and in open spaces. Bergen County Audubon Society also is donating milkweed plants to schools and community gardens.

"We're trying to do what we can to help," said Don Torino, Bergen Audubon's president. "Some environmental issues seem so big and overwhelming, and people feel powerless. But here's something simple they can do to help."

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