Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Pilot Projects

Milkweed to Monarchs: Abandoned Agricultural Area Restoration

Centre d’interprétation de la nature de Cincinnati

United States

Agency Type

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat

Original Language

In 2015, the Cincinnati Nature Center began a habitat restoration initiative that aimed to restore a 4-hectare (10-acre) abandoned agricultural field. Ohio, a state that was once covered with native grassland, has only less than 1% of the native grassland that used to blanket the state. By reverting abandoned agricultural land back to native grassland, the Cincinnati Nature Center is providing an area where vital native milkweed and nectar sources will flourish. Restoring this area and introducing a variety of native forbs and other flowering plants will attract diverse pollinators, including monarchs.

After maturing for a few years, this restored acreage will be used to harvest native seeds and will provide a venue for the Cincinnati Nature Center to engage with school groups and other nature center visitors to teach them about seed collection and propagation, as well as the importance of using native plants in gardening and large-scale restoration. The space will also be used to host monarch monitoring workshops in order to connect people with monarch-centric citizen science projects where volunteers contribute data that are ultimately used to further monarch conservation efforts (MJV 2015).