Block Club Chicago:

Chicagoans can get free milkweed seeds to help butterflies or oak tree saplings through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch butterflies are among the species that could be lost in Chicago — but residents can help by planting pollinator-friendly native plants like milkweed. Pexels

 

CHICAGO — Locals can get free milkweed seeds and oak saplings through a state organization.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District partnered with the Illinois Monarch Project in a bid to save monarch butterflies, which are at risk of going extinct in the region. Cook County residents can take an online pledge to help save monarch butterflies and the district will send them free milkweed seeds, according to a newsletter from the district.

Milkweed is a flower that monarchs lay their eggs on. It is native to the area, and experts have said it would greatly help the butterfly population if more Chicagoans planted the flower.

Residents can take the pledge online to get the seeds.

The district is also giving away red, pin, white and black oak tree saplings. They’re available 9 a.m.-noon Wednesdays at water reclamation plants, according to a newsletter from the district.

Pickup locations:

  • Calumet: 400 E. 130th St. in Chicago
  • Kirie: 701 W. Oakton St. in Des Plaines
  • Hanover Park: 1220 Sycamore Ave. in Hanover Park
  • Lemont: 13 Stephen St. in Lemont
  • Egan: 550 S. Meacham Road in Schaumburg
  • O’Brien: 3500 Howard St. in Skokie
  • Stickney: 6001 W. Pershing Road in Cicero

In time, the saplings can grow to be up 80 feet tall. But they’ll be able to stay potted for several months before needing to be transplanted to a larger put or put in the ground.

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