This is the time of year our thoughts turn to collecting seed from our prairies. Project Wingspan could use our help. They are looking for enthusiastic seed collecting volunteers in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to help collect seeds from milkweed and other common forage plants.
Project Wingspan: Landscape Enhancement for Imperiled Pollinators of the Midwest (Wingspan) is a two-year project sponsored by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) through the non-profit Pollinator Partnership. The goal is to engage public land managers and private land stewards, throughout the eight state target region of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, to enhance and secure 10,000, acres of high-quality Monarch, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee and other imperiled pollinator habitat.
This short-term seed collection project is designed to increase the interest and skill in collecting seed to be used for restoration and enhancement efforts. Wingspan builds on the success Pollinator Partnership and its team of core partners have had in building a regional seed collection program in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana through a previously funded NFWF project, Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest.
All seed generated from this project will be used to support the development of geographically appropriate native plant materials for the enhancement of 10,000 acres of Monarch, Rusty Patched Bumble Bee and other imperiled pollinator habitat.
Project Wingspan has developed a series of webinars and a training manual to assist volunteers who which to collect seed for this project to become certified Project Wingspan volunteers. The project has targeted twenty-nine plant species (Appendix A of training manual) and six states (Appendix J of training manual) for seed collection.
This post has been reprinted in part from the Pollinator Action Team newsletter dated 9/30/2019.