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Columbus, OH 43215
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Columbus Set to Become More Pollinator-Friendly

City Council reviews removing milkweed from list of prohibited plants 

Monarch
[COLUMBUS-OH] In an effort to make Columbus a more environmentally vibrant city, Councilmember Elizabeth Brown seeks to remove milkweed, an ally of the butterfly, as a prohibited noxious weed.

On Wednesday, April 5, 2017, Councilmember Brown will host a public hearing to review ordinance 0977-2017 to remove milkweed from the City’s list of prohibited noxious weeds, at the Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., 5pm.

“This is a simple step that can have a big impact on the vibrancy and diversity of local plants and flowers,” said Councilmember Brown. “Supporting pollinators like the monarch butterfly will help local ecosystems thrive.”

Noxious weeds are annual, biennial, or perennial plants that are designated as having the potential or are known to be detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property.

There is a national movement to promote the cultivation of milkweed due to it being the only plant where monarch butterflies lay their eggs. Widespread use of pesticides and other losses of habitat have reduced the available milkweed that the butterflies rely on.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, pollinating species are in decline worldwide due to habitat loss, invasive species, parasites, and pesticides.

Approximately 75 percent of plant species rely on more than 100,000 invertebrates - including bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, beetles, and flies– and more than 1,000 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles that act as pollinators. Their relationship helps form the foundation of food chains by producing many plant-based foods on which all animals, including humans, rely.

“Local actions do make a difference when it comes to preserving the environment,” said Councilmember Brown. “I hope today’s hearing inspires residents to plant their own pollinator-friendly habitats using milkweed and other native plants.”

The City of Columbus offers residents $50 reimbursements for the purchase of an approved rain barrel, compost bin, or native plants from a licensed retailer.  The reimbursements are made through the GreenSpot Backyards program (communitybackyards.org) which is administered by the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District.


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