For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield Utilities and the City of Marshfield Wastewater Division recently partnered on a monarch butterfly conservation project.
Marshfield Utilities General Manager Bob Trussoni heard a presentation on monarch conservation for municipal leaders and brought the information back to Marshfield. Cathy Lotzer, technical services manager from Marshfield Utilities, then reached out to Sam Warp, wastewater treatment plant superintendent, to see if there was an interest in working together. Warp, already knowledgeable on the subject, was eager to take part.
The optimal location for a planting site was deemed to be at Marshfield’s wastewater treatment plant.
“Because the wastewater plant treats the water all naturally, it will work well to promote the pollinator project with natural prairie flowers,” stated Warp.
The wastewater team prepared the site for planting, and then a crew consisting of utility and wastewater staff planted a variety of flowering plants, wildflower seeds, milkweed seeds, and other plants that are critical to the survival of monarch butterflies.
Approximately 40 tours are given yearly at the wastewater plant, which will provide opportunities to showcase the garden.
Wisconsin is part of the monarch butterfly summer breeding area. In recent years the monarch butterfly population has been plummeting. Many factors have been thought to contribute to the declining numbers of monarchs, including summer breeding habitat, largely in the Midwest, being destroyed by agriculture process changes and land development. The hope is for cities and municipalities across the country to help play a role in the conservation efforts like Marshfield.
“We are thrilled to be able to help this important initiative and look forward to seeing the garden develop,” said Lotzer.
The garden has also been designated as a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation and is now part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects like butterflies and bees.