For the Environmental Fellows Program, Joveita Weah, Mayra Leon Coss, and myself have all teamed up to become members of the Greencastle Sustainability Commission. Our goal is to immerse ourselves into the Greencastle projects regarding sustainability and environmentalism. We have taken up the tasks of creating a Greencastle-focused native plant gardening guide to freely distribute online and to Greencastle residents to promote native gardens and landscaping. We are also pairing with the Putnam County Library to establish a Monarch Garden filled with common milkweed and butterfly weed in an attempt to create habitat, breeding, and feeding zones for all stages of a Monarch butterfly’s life. Common milkweed is important to the Monarch butterfly because it is the only plant Monarchs can lay their eggs on and the only plant their caterpillars can eat to grow. These are also native plants to this region of Indiana, making them vital parts of the ecosystem (common milkweed differs greatly from tropical milkweed or swamp milkweed).
This is the current landscaping plan we have created to propose to the commission and our library contact, Barbara Timm. It would continue to preserve the existing landscaping at the front of the library, but be expanded to include the native species.
Today we all went out to the Environmental Field Station greenhouse in the nature park to plant our cold stratified milkweed seeds. We planted approximately 50 milkweed plants. These seeds were foraged from a seed pod, so hopefully they will still grow well and in time. If not, we will be purchasing our flowers from native plant sales happening around Indiana in the upcoming weeks.