Trails 2000, Durango Nature Studies, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Alpine Bank are pleased to partner to plant milkweed seeds at the Hermosa Rail Yard on Friday, October 12, 2018, to help increase monarch butterflies in the area. Volunteers are needed to help plant milkweed from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the rail yard; all ages are welcome to volunteer and no experience is necessary, as all tools and instruction will be provided.
Milkweed plants are the only food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. However, milkweed has severely declined in North America due to drastic changes in land use or management. Milkweed losses and other stressors are associated with declines in migratory monarch butterflies over the past 20 years. To compensate for the loss of milkweed, gardeners across North America are helping monarchs by planting native species of milkweeds and by keeping milkweeds safe from pesticides.
The project hopes to inspire adults and youth to come give back to the community. Volunteers should meet at the Hermosa Rail Yard, which is accessed by driving north on Highway 550 from Durango. After the train tracks cross the highway, just past Hermosa, take the first right onto the frontage road and park along the road or in the gravel parking area. All tools and instruction will be provided on site. Patti Zink, of Waterfall Ranch, will harvest milkweed pods from the ranch to transplant at the rail yard. Refreshments and snacks will be provided for all volunteer participants.
Registration for this event has now closed.