Thursday, July 17, 2008
Being noxious on purpose - milkweed for butterflies
The first summer job I had was working the weekend shift of a Mr. Donut just on the outside of Sarnia's Chemical Valley. During the week, I was employed with three other students to take care of the Howard Watson Trail. The trail was once a railway corridor and so we were employed by Lambton Wildlife to keep the trail free of weeds to appease the homeowners who lived beside this precious ribbon of nature.
Removing the trail's ragweed didn't bother me. What did cause me angst was that we were obligued to remove any milkweed we found as milkweed is considered a noxious weed in Ontario as its thought to be poisonous to livestock. I hated pulling milkweed because its the monarch catepillar's sole food source. I still feel guilty about this.
So yesterday, after following the links from this page on Graffiti For Butterflies (via Kottke), I bought this Monarch Station Seed Kit from Monarch Watch. I don't know whether its too late to plant milkweed this year, butI'm sure I'll be able to find out with all the information and discussion space made available by this charitable group. The site's navigation is a little dodgy but in spite of this, I think their web presence is a model for environmental groups who are seeking ways to engage the public in their cause.