MEI News

Some news from Monarchs in Eastern Iowa group:

NATIONAL COVERAGE:  We are pleased that the Des Moines Register video/article has been picked up by a number of news organizations across the country. We ARE getting out our message about saving Monarchs!  Thank you!

LAKE McBRIDE:  In addition, one of our members has been given permission by Lake McBride State Park near Solon, Iowa to plant milkweed in grassy, prairie areas around the lake. Thank you!

August 16, 2015 ... 6:30 p.m.

Eastside Recycling Center
2401 Scott Blvd. SE
Iowa City, IA

Learn about milkweed, monarchs, and more! If you are interested in learning how to care for Monarchs--from the egg through release stages, please join us.

Come listen and learn from speakers Sydney Algreen, Johson County Conservation, Marcie Evans, MA, monarch enthusiast, and Katherine Ryan Hogendorn, monarch enthusiast spearheading a project to increase the monarch population at Lake MacBride.

We will also have a panel from Monarchs in Eastern Iowa for Q&A after the event! There will be a limited number of milkweeds, eggs and caterpillars given out to those who are interested.
 If you need more information, contact Kathy at 319-624-5240.

Click the image to enlarge it.


RAGRAI event a success!

Our group's efforts to hand out milkweed seed balls to bicycle riders participating in the Des Moines "Register's Annual Great Ride Across Iowa" (RAGBRAI) was a great success.  Thank you to all the members who volunteered their time and efforts!  Below are links to some of the coverage the event received.

From KCRG Cedar Rapids

From KGAN Cedar Rapids  (start about 1:17 minutes into the video)
RAGBRAI Riders Helping Butterflies - KGAN-TV CBS 2 Iowa - Top Stories

From the USA Today
Efforts intensify to save the monarch butterfly (Article and Video)

From KCAU Sioux City (start about 3:02 into the video)
RAGBRAI Riders Work to Boost the Monarch Population in Iowa



Mount Vernon's RAGBRAI theme is "Live, Love, Ride".  Our theme is PEACE, LOVE, FLY!

We plan to have at least 2000 milkweed seed balls to hand out to bicyclists participating in RAGBRAI as they pass through Mount Vernon, Iowa this coming Friday, July 24th, 2015.

We will be asking them to toss the balls into unkempt/un-mowed ditches far out in the countryside. Our hope is that many many more milkweed plants will be growing in the ditches next spring for Monarch butterflies to find and lay eggs upon.  (Milkweed is the only thing that Monarch caterpillars can eat!)

Our booth will be located by the Visitors Center right by the big white gazebo in Memorial Park on 1st St. W, between 5th Ave. and 3rd Ave. (look for the water tower).  
  • We will have "Street Butterflies", members flitting around the crowded streets with butterfly wings, bringing attention to our booth.  
  • We will be releasing Monarch butterflies that have been raised by our group off and on
  • Informational literature will be available
We are looking forward to meeting many people and spreading the word about saving the Monarch!

(Read about Kelly “Milkweed” Guilbeau  (from the Des Moines Register) - Kelly scatters milkweed all across Iowa as she rides RAGBRAI in her Monarch butterfly wings!   Visit her blog


KCRG News clip

By Mark Carlson, KCRG-TV9 July 16, 2015 | 6:32 pm
Thousands of RAGBRAI riders could help Iowa’s monarch butterfly population when they trek across the state next week.  Members of the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health are assisting with an effort to restore milkweed plants in Linn and Johnson counties. They plan to hand small balls made of soil, compost and milkweed seeds to riders as they pass through Mount Vernon next Friday.

Read the rest of the story at http://tinyurl.com/pkhgdas


July news

Patty Ankrum form Monarchs in Eastern
Iowa and Theresa Carberry from New
Pioneer Co-op holding some of the
donated containers.
Our group effort at finding Monarch eggs, raising and releasing Monarch butterflies is in full swing. Due to cool weather and rain, the process was delayed, but we are now seeing lots of action!

Thanks, New Pi!
We want to extend our thanks to New Pioneer Co-op.  They donated 1000 plastic containers to our group. We will be distributing them to responsible host families to help rear Monarchs from eggs to butterflies for release. Many group members have stepped forward to "adopt" eggs to raise!

The group will also be distributing 2000+ milkweed seed-balls made out of clay and soil to RAGBRAI riders who will "seed-bomb" un-sprayed ditches across Iowa to help restore monarch habitat.  

The next seed-ball making party is July 21 at 11:30 a.m. in Scott Church Park near Iowa City.  Click the link for directions if you wish to help!

From our friends at Indian Creek Nature Center

To the right is a photo of deli containers housing happy little monarch caterpillars. We sincerely appreciated the New Pioneer Co-op donation to Monarchs of Eastern Iowa who are working with us on our monarch hoop house project. 

On July 10th at Indian Creek nature center 77 adults and 53 children attended our Monarch Party to learn about monarchs, their conservation issues and each took home a caterpillar to raise and release as an adult butterfly. 
- Jan Aiels
  Education Director/Senior Naturalist at Indian Creek Nature Center