Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata
Native milkweed is important to the survival of the Monarch butterfly. This species has declined by as much as 90% over the last 20 years in large part because of habitat loss.
On April 16th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 17th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will host its annual Spring Plant Sale fundraising event which will feature an extensive variety of native plants, hard-to-find herbs and well-adapted plants. A new highlight for this year’s fundraising event will be the opportunity for North Texans to purchase one or more of over six hundred native milkweeds (this collection is comprised of seven species).
According to Angela Baron, Heard Museum Education Coordinator, making native milkweed available to the public is important to the Heard because, “Milkweed is the only food that Monarch caterpillars eat. As female Monarchs migrate, they search for patches of milkweed on which to lay eggs. As more land becomes developed, there is less natural habitat for milkweed. Scientists believe this decline in the availability of wild milkweed is one of the contributing factors to the Monarch population decline.”
Consequently, by purchasing and planting native milkweed, the public can support the Heard, a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, while actively participating in reviving the dwindling Monarch butterfly population. The population of this species has decreased by as much as 90% over the last two decades, inspiring several environmental groups to work to make sure that the Monarch butterfly gains status as an endangered species. A representative from Monarch Watch will be available during much of the sale to answer questions about this butterfly. This sale will also make an assortment of native flowering plants available to the public, which provide nectar for the adult butterflies.
A complete list of the plant species that will be available at the Spring Plant Sale is available at www.heardmuseum.org/plantsale. All purchases made will be tax free and proceeds from this fundraising event benefit Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Guests are welcome to bring carts or wagons to facilitate their purchases.
A Heard Museum Member Pre-Sale will be offered on April 15th from 4-7 p.m. The Member Pre-Sale is open to Heard Museum members only; however, memberships will be available for purchase at the event or online beforehand.
About Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard's mission of bringing nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore, and preserve our priceless environment is carried out through education. More information about this organization is available at heardmuseum.org.
Marketing & Communications Director at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas.