For Immediate ReleaseMay 24, 2016
Contact: Tina Buxton
Horticulturalist Parks and Recreation Department
Milkweed Plant Giveaway at Saturday’s Farmers Market
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Fayetteville’s Parks and Recreation Department will be giving away three species of milkweed plants to residents this Saturday, May 28 at the Fayetteville Farmers Market. (Please bring a recent water utility bill to show proof of residency.)
As part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors Monarch Pledge, Fayetteville and community partners have committed to creating habitats and educating citizens on ways to make a difference to help save the monarch butterfly. Pollinators play a critical role in the food supply for wildlife and people. The monarch butterfly population has declined by approximately 90 percent since 1996 as a result of numerous threats. One third of the monarch’s summer breeding habitat has been destroyed due to overuse of herbicides by commercial agriculture and conventional gardening practices.
Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. Planting native milkweed is one of the easiest ways to make a difference for monarchs. Parks and Recreation staff has grown three species planted in 4” pots:
• butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) • swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
• whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)
For more information about milkweed and monarch butterflies, visit the National Wildlife Foundation website.