We are pleased to welcome the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) to the Monarch Joint Venture’s network of partners. A 49 year old, volunteer-governed organization, MPF is the only organization in Missouri whose land conservation efforts are devoted exclusively to native grasslands. We are excited to bring their practical prairie conservation information, native plant marketing experience, and information and outreach network into our coalition to strengthen monarchs across the country.
MPF’s mission is to protect and restore prairie and other native grassland communities through acquisition, management, education, and research. With the adoption of its Grow Native! program, MPF promotes the use of native plants for landscaping, stormwater management, wildlife and pollinator habitat, and livestock forage.
The Grow Native! program reaches throughout the lower Midwest, a key area for monarch habitat. Within this area, the program helps market the native plant products and services of its professional members such as nursery owners, native seed producers, landscape architects and land care professionals. It also drives demand for native plants by educating consumers of their benefits.
In addition to the Grow Native! program, all of MPF’s conservation activities benefit monarch butterflies. MPF has acquired and stewards more than 3,000 acres of original and some reconstructed prairie in 18 tracts of land, which provides habitat for at least 11 species of Asclepias and dozens of native plants that are nectar sources for monarchs. Thousands of acres of native prairie throughout the state have been protected with help from MPF and their advocacy for wildlife-friendly agricultural and energy policies and strong federal and state conservation funding.
MPF has a variety of monarch butterfly conservation accomplishments and projects to date. MPF:
- has acquired and stewards more than 3,000 acres of monarch habitat.
- helps native plant growers move millions of native plants, including many milkweeds, into the marketplace through its Grow Native! Program.
- is a leading partner in the organization of a July 2015 Missouri Monarch Recovery Plan meeting.
- received a grant in 2014 to give away more than 4,000 milkweed and nectar plants
- participates in numerous outreach programs throughout Missouri (tradeshows, Earth Day events, within corporate partner stores, etc.) to share information about prairie conservation and the importance of native plants.
- brought Dr. Chip Taylor to be the guest speaker at its annual member dinner in 2013, in conjunction with Lincoln University.
- was a partner in bringing Dr. Chip Taylor to speak at Mizzou Botanic Garden, University of Missouri campus on April 29th 2015.
- was sought out in 2015 by the USFWS Partners for Private Lands Program as a recipient of more than $32,000 for monarch habitat improvements on MPF land and on partner land; MPF will dispense funds from this amount for habitat work on private land.
- plans to spend $7,000 in grant funds to give away as many milkweed and nectar plants as possible monarchs in spring of 2015.
- plans to give approximately 5,000 milkweed plants away in fall 2015/spring 2016.
MPF is dedicated to inspiring citizens to conserve prairie resources, sharing strategies for prairie conservation, encouraging prairie ecosystem research, and promoting the use of native plants. We are excited to partner with the Missouri Prairie Foundation in their work to create healthy habitats for monarchs in Missouri and across the lower Midwest.
For more information, visit their website.