Gardening for Monarchs and pollinators – Greensburg Daily News




On Monday, Nov. 6, the Big Oaks Conservation Society will hold a meeting at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, Indiana, starting at 6:30 p.m. Kirsten Carlson will present on the habitat needs of monarch butterflies. She will offer strategies that you can do at home to help bring back the declining population of eastern monarchs. She will also provide gardening tips to help honeybees and native bees and other pollinators. Her presentation will be for all ages, young to seasoned gardeners.

Kirsten is a former high school biology teacher who has a BS in Biology from Indiana University and a MS in Secondary Science Education from IU as well; she also has her MS certification in Special Education. Currently Kirsten is an adjunct instructor in the biological sciences at IVY Tech Community College. She has focused her interests for the past eight years on working with schools and other groups to create pollinator habitats, Monarch Waystations along with tagging monarch butterflies for MonarchWatch, and to provide outreach programming regarding the monarch butterfly. She has provided many workshops for teachers and presentations for others on creating pollinator/monarch habitats and support to collecting, rearing and tagging monarchs. She currently is the area team lead for the Monarch Wings Across the Eastern Broadleaf Forest, which focuses on using volunteers to collect specific host/pollinator plants for monarch butterflies and other pollinators

The Big Oaks Conservation Society is the non-profit support group of the Big Oaks NWR. Society members work closely with refuge staff to enhance public awareness, use, and appreciation for the natural and cultural assets unique to Big Oaks NWR. Meetings are held the first Monday of selected months at 6:30 p.m. usually at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, Indiana.

Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of approximately 50,000 acres on the former Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) located in Jennings, Ripley, and Jefferson Counties in southeastern Indiana. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provides public use opportunities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, interpretation and environmental education. The refuge has one of the largest contiguous forest blocks in the southeastern part of the state as well as one of the largest grassland complexes in the state, both of which provide wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities to refuge visitors.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses more than 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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