09 July 2021

Turtlehead Planting

Written by: Sunny Meva

     Now that I am more settled into where I am working and met people, I finally am starting to do more. Besides doing survey questions as a part of my community outreach, I have been able to help with maintenance work and preparing sites for restoration work. I have pulled out a lot of fences so we can get equipment and machines onto the land. Not only have I done high labor work but helped with planting native plants on sites.

     A two weeks ago I got the opportunity to plant turtlehead plants. It was a workday hosted by the McHenry County Conservation District and I was invited to join. We had over 1,500 turtlehead plants to plant across an area of land. The reason they were planting these certain plants is because they want to provide the host plant for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly. A lot of workers came to help but also some volunteers. The whole workday took about two and half hours to plant. We moved pretty fast because 1,500 plants are a lot to go through. I enjoyed it a lot because this is something I do not do often. Back in the city, I work landscaping but the opportunity to garden is something we do not do. Living in an apartment there is not an area for us to garden and put plants since most of it is concrete. This is something I would like to take back home and try to bring native plants into a busy city.

     Not only did I enjoy planting the plants but the atmosphere. People around me all have the same goal in conservation. We all want to see our environment be healthy and have what it needs. By putting this plant, we increased the chance to have the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly live a better life. The people around me were all filled with smiles. It was definitely better than a day in the office sending and replying to emails.

Agency: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Program: US Fish & Wildlife Service - DFP

Location: Hackmatack NWR

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