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FORRC Southern Nevada Milkweed Project

Pollinator Garden #2 Planting in Pahrump

Saturday, February 17, 2018 from 8:00AM to 2:00PM

Help us clean up Pollinator Garden #1 and prep Garden #2.

Click here for details.

Shaping & Winterizing Pollinator Garden #1 at Discovery Park – Pahrump, Nevada

November 4, 2017

What a difference a day made! On this second session of work in Pahrump, our crew of 19 didn’t waste any time attacking the Bermuda grass, pruning milkweed and native plants and creating a meandering pathway through this pollinator garden.

Southern Nevada Milkweed Project again worked side by side with Red Rock Audubon Society and Great Basin Water Company shaping the first of 3 planned pollinator gardens.

SNMP has donated milkweed and other pollinator attractors for spring planting.

Monarchs, Look At This!

What a difference a day made! On this second session of work in Pahrump, our crew of 19 didn’t waste any time attacking the Bermuda grass, pruning milkweed and native plants and creating a meandering pathway through this pollinator garden.

Southern Nevada Milkweed Project again worked side by side with Red Rock Audubon Society and Great Basin Water Company shaping the first of 3 planned pollinator gardens.

SNMP has donated milkweed and other pollinator attractors for spring planting.

Planting at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park

SNMP Planting Crew on 9/9/2017 – Zack McPherson, Brad McPherson, Bea Palmer, Audra Bonney, Charlotte Bonney, Bob Furtek, Alberthe Peterson, Pholtanawat Lapasrada, Glenda Bona, Carol Swearingen, Shari Young, Jeff Young, Rick Swadling.

Hard at work

On a rainy morning in September, we drove through the runoff from Spring Mountain into the park and took advantage of the rain as we planted 80 Desert Milkweed plants, 28 native plants and 200 Desert Milkweed seeds.

We experienced firsthand the thorns, stickers, spines and glochids of native plants. Our crew worked through yucca and cactus pokes to really change the face of the entrance to the park – with no complaints, only excitement about our progress.

This diverse group honored each others strengths in the joint creation of a monarch munching and breeding spot … as well as a beautiful entry for visitors to enjoy. We made a difference – go see for yourself!

We’re seeing Queen Butterflies at the Nursery!


Manager’s August 2017 Report:

Happy to be onboard!

I know we only have a few short months to wrap this project up, but I am so happy to be a part of this local effort to promote the importance of providing the life-sustaining food source for the most elegant pollinator, the monarch butterfly!

In the past month, I have had a crash course in growing milkweed … and in finding out what has been learned during the course of this grant.

Jeff Young’s 7/21/2017 email on Milkweeds provides a valuable history of the seeding and planting and the results of milkweed propagation efforts over the period of this grant. Jeff and Shari’s guidance has helped me step into this role with a sense of the history of the project and has assisted me with in developing a vision for what lies ahead.

my first few weeks …

  • Patricia guided me through a smooth orientation to FORRC
  • Kristi gave me copies of the grant and the reports on progress thus far
  • Pat made the business cards and more
  • Tom signed the contract
  • Brenda set me up online
  • Chuck introduced me to Volgistics

…all of this as Ronnie and I comfortably slid into our new roles with FORRC.

Jeff showed me around the greenhouse and the nursery. We sorted and surveyed the plants and decided to plant more seeds for fall. Shari, Jeff and I planted 360 cells on 8/7 with tremendous success. Nearly all have germinated.

On 7/27, I met with partners Christiana Manville, FWS, Melissa Sanders, BLM Seeds of Success, and Lara Kobelt, BLM Botanist.

Jeff, Shari and I spent time with Rick Keller at Spring Mountain Ranch and he welcomed us to plant there this fall. We are looking for spot where water might be available or where we might bring water until the roots are established.

The three of us visited the Botanical Gardens at UNCE and Anne Marie Lardeau showed us her milkweed field trials. It was a great exchange of information – SNMP has planted in the wild with limited success in plant retention. Anne Marie’s plants are contained in the garden where they are irrigated and cared for on a regular basis – and she still has plant problems. We will continue to learn from each other.

And many thanks to FORRC for the fall trainings. I sat in on the 2 days of the volunteer training sessions which included Native Americans, Botany, Tule Springs, Mormon Fort, Spring Mountain Ranch, Mining, Wetlands, Search & Rescue, Wildlife Refuge and Sloan Canyon.

Next step – plan the out-plantings, contact volunteers, coordinate with partners and prepare for the fall events.

June 2017 Update

A ton of progress today, thanks to the Pilgrims, and our Team leads. All is looking so so good. Garden is getting there, new irrigation is in place, new plants, seed cleaning is moving forward, and we’re just about finished with transplanting all of what we have in the greenhouse.

We’ve now scheduled each Saturday to get out with our Field Teams to begin collecting data on new sighting and eventually collecting seeds.

February 2017 Update

An update of our two year Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant:

We located 8 of the possible 14 different native milkweed plants that grow in Southern Nevada.

Currently in our greenhouse we are growing out 6200 milkweed plants and other nectar providing native plants for use in our program. These should be available for out planting in March/April.

280 of you have expressed your support to the SNMP, either buy volunteering (156 of you) or by spreading the word to others about our program or by giving needed advice to our Team.

1700+ attended SNMP community outreach sessions.

We have provided milkweed plants or seeds to 16 school gardens that are emphasising integrating native plants into their landscape.

September 2016 Update

Southern Nevada Milkweed Mapping, Seed Production and Distribution Project

The project scope includes locating milkweed, collecting data and mapping (GIS), monitoring them, collecting seeds, submitting seeds to the SOS program and propagating samples of all varieties of native Milkweed plants in Southern Nevada (our area includes approximately 2,239,050 acres). Once this study is completed, the Fish & Wildlife and others will have a better way to reverse the decline of the Monarch Butterfly, a very serious problem we’ve begun to experience.

Volunteer Activities

12/012/2015 through 07/31/2016 SNMP has:

  • 125 volunteers who have either signed up to volunteer or have volunteered.
  • 81 individuals who are either representing our partners, agencies or societies that are working with SNMP to advise and support our project.
  • To date we have had 96 sessions with volunteer attendance
    • 6 Administration and planning sessions
    • 14 Training Sessions
    • 13 Team Meetings
    • 6 Partner Meetings
    • 11 Outreach Sessions
    • 27 Field Team Sessions (including seed collection)
    • 15 Greenhouse Sessions
    • 6 Out Plant Sessions


14 training classes were offered. Subjects included:

  • 3 SOS, Seeds of Success (BLM) classes.
  • 4 Introduction to the Milkweed grant classes.
  • 3 GPS classes.
  • 1 class at the UNLV herbarium.
  • 2 Tours of the Song Dog nursery at Lake Mead.
  • 1 work session with USGS.

Greenhouse and Propagation

To date, 15 sessions have produced 22,500 seeds planted in the greenhouse.

Approximately 8,000 plants have been grown. 5,200 of those plants have been outplanted. The results of those out plants are currently being evaluated. Our preliminary result is that the success of this effort is well below our expectations.

New plantings will begin in August and out plants will be ready for October.

New methods are not being evaluated for future propagation. Tuber sections, cuttings, timely seedings, techniques of seeding in the greenhouse, etc are options.

New containers are being evaluated and we expect to begin planting in the greenhouse in early August

Activities and Community Outreach

Master Gardener Monthly meeting and SNMP Presentation (February, 125 attended).

Heritage Society Nevada Native Plant Workshop and SNMP Presentation (4 SNMP volunteers attended).

Nevada Native Plant Society (3 SNMP volunteers attend each month).

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting/Presentation (May).

School Garden Workshop and SNMP Presentation (April, 350 attended).

Nevada Forestry Pollinator Workshop (April, 5 SNMP volunteers attended).

BLM Southern Nevada Restoration Forum Field Trip and Workshop. (April, 4 SNMP volunteers attended).

Red Rock Canyon Endangered Species day. (May, SNMP staffed a display and information table, 5 Volunteers attended).

Red Rock Canyon Butterfly Day (May, SNMP staffed a display and information table, 7 Volunteers attended).

Nevada Wilderness Society Monthly Meeting and SNMP Presentation (Scheduled this October).

Southern Nevada Audubon Society Monthly Meeting and Presentation (Pending this October).

Field Teams

We have 3 field teams and 12 current volunteers to find and collect data. We need 2-3 more teams to effectively complete this work.

We have had 27 field sessions to find and collect data on milkweeds sightings. This information is being formatted into the Xerces data collection program and will eventually be made available to map and collect data information for Southern Nevada.

Currently the SNMT has 41 sites that data has been collected.

June Update

Shari and Jeff Young, our Field Team Leads that are monitoring the Spring Mountain Ranch site have found five chrysalides, two of which were kept in our terrarium. Those two have hatched and were tagged and released, the others are on erosas, soon to hatch. This is so super for our program and supports our position that, with help, we can strengthen the presence of monarchs in Southern Nevada and milkweeds are the clue to this happening.

our first monarch tagvolunteer Shari Young releasing our first female monarch (tagged AL800)Chrysalide found in the fieldJeff Young releasing our first male monarch (tagged AL801)

Manager’s June 2016 Report:

Field Team Update:

Our field teams are all over Southern Nevada, just a few of the trips have been: Warm Springs and the Muddy river, Ash Meadows, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Corn Creek, Sandy Valley, Cottonwood Valley, Lake Mead, Big Bend, the Wetlands Park, Mount Charleston, Spring Mountain Ranch, Lovell and Trout Canyons, Red Rock, Bird Springs and even Peekaboo Canyon. We currently have data on 30+ milkweeds different sightings in Southern Nevada.

Current Milkweeds our Field Teams are Tracking

Scientific Name Common Name
Asclepias speciosa Showy milkweed
Asclepias erosa Desert milkweed
Asclepias asperila Spider milkweed
Asclepias subverticillata Horsetail milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis Narrowleaf milkweed
Asclepias cryptoceras Davis milkweed
Asclepias subulata Rush milkweed
Funastrum cynanchoides Climbing milkweed

Outplant Update:

Our propagation outplant efforts at Warm Springs, Wetlands Park, Spring Mountain Ranch and the Corn Creek Visitor Center (4850 plants) has been a learning experience for our team. Results won’t be in until October, but it looks like our Q-plugs, made with earthworm casings, seem to be an attraction for many rodents and birds. Attracted by the earthworm odor, they dig out and eat the plug and sometimes even eat the plant. It seems like the larger plants grown in potting soil are doing better, although that process takes additional time and labor to complete. Caging the young plants is an option and will be evaluated.

Out next outplant will begin in October with plants we will begin growing in the greenhouses in late August or early September. We’ll replant and seed all areas again as well as several others.

Community Outreach Update:

We are getting our project out and into the community. Recent sessions with The Master Gardeners of Nevada, The Nevada Heritage Society, The Nevada Native Plant Society, Green Our Planet, Red Rock Canyon’s Endangered Species Day, Red Rock Canyon’s Butterfly Day and The Audubon Society.

Greenhouse Update:

Although growing in the greenhouse is slow because of the heat this summer, we are still making progress and plans for beginning our fall planting in mid-August. Our goal is to have 5000 plants ready for outplanting by October.

In addition, we are planting an area at the nursery to properly display the different kinds of milkweeds we’ve located. Additional companion blooming plants to promote attracting pollinators will be planted as a monarch waystation.

Seed Collection Update:

We are just beginning seed collecting; July, August and September are our best months. Our field teams are out twice a week, locating and collecting data on each plant location. Once seeds are collected, we’ll clean and store the seeds, reserving some for planting and some for the SOS program.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) road graders are at it again this year, leveling over 500 Erosa milkweeds on Tecopa Road that we have been monitoring. Only 20 remain. Currently we are talking to NDOT to see if anything can be agreed to.

Also, we have poachers! Yes poachers, we’d been monitoring a large group of Rush milkweeds near Nelson and discovered that all seedpods were removed.


A big reach out to Melissa Sanders our Seeds of Success leader working with the BLM/GBI who have been so supportive to our teams’ seed collecting efforts. Melissa was collecting seeds with her BLM team on June 14 and was bitten by a young Mojave Green rattlesnake. It was a serious strike and has put her into intensive care.

Manager’s April 2016 Report:

Earth Day and Red Rock Day:

Earth day was on the 22nd, yet we celebrated it on the 23rd with Red Rock Day and our “Out Plant” at Spring Mountain Ranch.

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example.

The most important part of our day was the 52 volunteers, half of them were youth and the future of what our land will become. If we can get the message to them, then maybe that’s what’s it’s all about. I love the having the youth on our SNMP and what their parents are promoting to them.

Today we continued the effort and I realize that both the young and us older are in step with continuing what was begun in 1970. Thank you so so much for making this “Out Plant” happen!

Milkweed sightings?

We are keeping a list of milkweed sightings. When you are out, keep your eyes open, review our milkweed guide and report your findings to us (SNMP) and we’ll put one of our field teams on it. They will go see it, ID it, photograph it, take coordinates on it’s location and begin to observe it’s lifecycle, and hopefully be able to collect seeds from it. All this information is maintained in our Teams database and will be made available to all of our partners, the Monarch Joint Venture Society, The Xerces Society and the Nevada Heritage Society. Eventually, this data will be put into a map that will begin to show us where monarchs might frequent on their migration journey. Keep your eyes open, we need your help to make this project work. Here’s what we need:

Date Time # Seen Site Coordinates Observer Remarks Action

Monarch sightings?

The Xerces Society wants our monarch sightings (I have 2 this past week). Send them to us and we’ll log them all together and then send them to Xerces each 6 months. Here’s what we need:

Date Time # Seen Site Coordinates Observer Remarks Action

New site to visit:

New Ideas:

Recently our team has spent some time in Pollinator Workshops, we’ve learned a lot and I believe we have begun to see the whole picture: Milkweeds, other blooming plants (producing nectar), the the actual life cycle of the monarch and then the other pollinators who, are frankly the future of our native plant’s ability to pollinate and reproduce for their own species. This challenge is, as you may know, is in jeopardy of what chemicals are being produced to alter our crops and even our native or natural lands. Our goal is to find, observe, furnish data, collect seeds and even propagate to test areas that may expand these plants and in turn support the safety of our dwindling monarchs.

One idea that came out in several of the classes I’ve taught to the Junior Master Gardener’s is making Bee houses? I’d like to throw that to our group? Especially with the families that did such a great job Saturday. There’s the project: Bees need places to lay their eggs, the seem to like holes (5/16” dia and 3 ½” deep)) in wood. These Bee Houses are crucial to the growth of our bee colonies, which are in decline. Not just the production of honey, which we all love, but more so with their ability to collect pollen while the collect honey nectar, they actually are the ones that make pollination happens between plants, which expand and continue the growth of our plants. It’s pretty simple: We spray our plants with chemicals (roundup) we not only kill our plants, we actually kill our pollinators. By definition pollinators could be: the weather (wind or rain), birds, animals, and then certainly insects (both good and not so good), but once we look at the whole picture we’ll see that something just has to be done to protect our environment.

For starters, let’s each make one Bee House? I have about 25 bee houses made, and you are welcome to get them, just let me know and I’ll drop them off to you? It’s a start and if each family can have one, we can make a difference.

To date we have had, in 4 months, 87 volunteers work with us and we have 65 partners and supporters behind us, for a total of 163 on our Team, this is super and I know that together the SNMP will make a difference for milkweeds and monarchs. We are on schedule for a big summer, finding and collecting, then growing, please be apart of our project?

April 3, 2016 – Four Months Recap:

What a great start with our two year project, here’s what we’ve done since December 1, 2015:

    • We’ve conducted 22 training classes to prepare our Team with what volunteer needs we may have.
    • We’ve test planted 15 test pads (at Carp, near Elgin, Big Bend State Park and the Wetlands Park) to begin to see how to plant our seeds into new areas.
    • We’ve propagated 25,520 seeds at the Floyd Lamb Nursery.
    • We’ve presented and reached out to several Native and rare plant societies to promote our cause and the awareness of the monarch’s plight.
    • We have joined the Xerces Society, the Monarch Joint Venture and the Southwester Monarch Watch’s efforts to provide our data for future tracking of both milkweeds and monarchs.
    • We’ve scheduled 2 out pants, first at Spring Mountain Ranch April 23, to plant Erosa Milkweeds and then May 7th at the Warm Springs Conservation area to plant Showy milkweeds. These two are very important to our first “out plants”. We will develop “Monarch Way Stations” at each of our planted areas and monitor them for growth data and possible monarch sightings.
    • Currently we have had 55 volunteers step up and provide all of this work and we so so appreciate the effort, yet, things are beginning to heat up, we need more teams in the field and even in the greenhouse and even to the community to spread the word about our project and how we can make a difference.
    • We’ve visited the UNLV herbarium and have our first BLM SOS submittal filed.
    • We have begun a working relationship with The Lake Mead National Conservation Area, The Clark County Wetlands Park, The Springs Preserve and with the Southern Nevada Water Authority.
    • Currently we have located 6 of the 8 know milkweeds within our partner’s areas, we are currently growing 4 of those six, others that we may locate with our field teams and even others we don’t believe are here will be the challenge for our Team.
    • And we have had many sessions with our partners, working out plans to get our teams and their field staff working together to find milkweeds.

A big thank you goes out to Pat Williams and Kristi Weeks for the work they put into our first two milkweed information brochures that will be used in our community outreach programs and by our field teams to help with the identification process.

And then a big thank you to Melissa Sanders for another great SOS class.

What a great start, now let’s kick in the door and make it happen?

First Quarter Update:

December 2015, January-February 2016

Our first quarter is complete and we’ve been busy, in only three months we have had 45 volunteer work sessions or Team meetings. We have had 48 volunteers participate on a variety of sessions including: Basic Introduction to Milkweed, Greenhouse training, Seeds of Success (SOS) training, GPS and Data Entry Training, Test plot plantings at the Wetlands Park and Big Bend State Park, Community Outreach, and a tour of the UNLV Herbarium USDA-NRCS and The Lake Mead national recreation area native plant nursery. Our volunteers recorded over 350 hours to the Project!

Our partners have been fantastic allowing us to access their lands (near 2.3 million acres), providing guidance, training and support in selecting areas to collect seeds and eventually the areas we can plant in.


      • The BLM and the Seeds of Success program
      • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
      • The Spring Mountain Ranch State Park
      • The Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
      • The Desert National Wildlife Refuge
      • Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
      • Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
      • Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge
      • The Nevada Division of Forestry
      • The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area

Additional Supporters and affiliates

      • UNLV Herbarium USDA-NRCS
      • Lake Mead national recreation area
      • The Xerces Society
      • Monarch Joint Venture
      • The Las Vegas Wetlands Park
      • Warm Springs Natural Area
      • The Springs Preserve
      • Southern Nevada Water Authority
      • UNLV Student Volunteer Group

Our Team has received 4 new Garmin GPS’s for data collection in the field. We are currently training on them. Data collection and inputting that information is a very important part of our Project and the SOS program.

Our Teams Milkweed information brochures are in the final design stage and will soon be ready to distribute to our partners and other interested individuals and groups in helping us locate plants. Hats, vest etc are also in final design and will be available shortly

Our planting future is in the Q-plugs we’ve tested, it will allow us to put our seedlings into a site without having to transplant them into larger containers! The week of 2/29 we’ll begin planting 20,000 seeds to get the process started, we need your help, want to get involved? Let us know! Our first plant in the field will be 4/23 (25 volunteers signed up), the second is 5/07 (60 volunteers signed up). Be there for those, especially those of you who can take a team lead position, remember, we’ve committed to deliver 98,000+ plants by 12/31/2017 and these two plantings will be significant to our future.

Monthly report for December 2015:

I hope you all are having a great holiday season and are looking forward to 2016 and yes, the FORRC Southern Nevada Milkweed Project (SNMP).

Work on the $175,000 grant to restore Monarch butterfly habitat from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is underway. The projects are planned, and we’re getting amazing support from our partners that include the BLM, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nevada Dept. of Forestry and NV Div. of State Parks, and the Clark County Wetlands Park/Las Vegas Wash.

We’re reaching out you to see where you may want to fit into this project. Below I’ve included brief descriptions of the variety of positions available and the initial draft of the early stage training schedule. And it’s our hope that you’ll join the team and even bring new volunteers to this important conservation project.

This grant is a first for us, and it’s bigger than any other we’ve undertaken. Our success depends on you! We cover a broad band of types volunteer needs, no one is too young or old, too physically fit or not, too skilled or not, one volunteer or a group, we will find a place for you.

Training sessions will begin in January dates, and the actual field work starts in March. However, there are a couple of opportunities in you want to get involved in January and February including:

• Tending to our greenhouse plants. We have nursery space at Floyd Lamb to continue our planting process from the seeds we collected last summer. The schedule is flexible between Monday & Thursday. Just let me know if you want to join us.

• Planting milkweed seed in several “test” plots in within the project’s area (which is large!). We’ve already planted in Carp/Elgin, Big Bend State Park, and at the Clark County Wetlands Park. We need volunteers to help us test plant at Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, an area on the Muddy River, and a demonstration area at The Floyd Lamb Nursery.

I’d also like to invite you on a tour of the UNLV Herbarium on January 13, 2016 at 9-11 AM. It’s meet up location will be provided later. Please let me know by return email if you will attend.

You may also want to mark your calendar for a Pollinator Workshop on April 2, 2016. Volunteer Agreement Procedures

All volunteers will be required to complete a volunteer agreement with the respective partner organization [s] where they intend to volunteer. I will you with the proper forms once you are scheduled and FORRC will need a copy as well. Tracking of all volunteer hours will be done through Volgistics. The FORRC Volgistics has already been programmed to include the various Milkweed volunteer activities. Because of the partnership between friends and the BLM, all volunteers on the project must have an up-to-date BLM volunteer agreement. We will work with each volunteer to ensure that all of the necessary paperwork is completed.

SNMP Grant Volunteer Positions (GTV)

1. Team Leads (TL) – Six to 10 Team Leads needed, with a minimum of 5 volunteers who hold Department of Interior Driver Certification. Each Team Lead should have general knowledge or Interest in the program, attend appropriate training, and demonstrate the ability to manage and train team members on all facets of the program. After training, teams will volunteer two 8 hour days per month for the first year of the grant and three 8 hour days per month the second year.

2. Field Volunteers (FV) – Thirty-five (35) Field Volunteers needed, with a minimum of 5 volunteers who have Department of Interior Driver Certification. Each volunteer should have knowledge or interest in locating, identifying, photographing, recording GPS locations, and monitoring milkweed plants. Each volunteer will also need to collect milkweed seeds for the grant program, as well as for the BLM Seeds of Success program (SOS). Volunteers must be physically fit and comfortable with a variety of light to moderate hiking conditions. Some hikes are in rough areas, and all hikes may experience hot and humid weather conditions. After training, teams will volunteer two eight-hour days per month, seven months per year.

3. Seed Cleaning Volunteers (SCV) –20 Seed Cleaner Volunteers needed. Each volunteer should have knowledge or interest in cleaning and packaging milkweed seeds for the grant program, as well as the BLM Seeds of Success program (SOS). Volunteers may need to work in hot weather conditions. After training, teams will volunteer two 5 hour days per month, four months per year.

4. Greenhouse Volunteers (GV) –Twenty-five (25) Greenhouse Volunteers needed. Each volunteer should have knowledge or interest in propagating, monitoring, and readying milkweed plants for transplanting. Volunteers may need to work in hot weather conditions. After training, teams will volunteer two five-hour days per month for six months the first year and four months the second year.

5. Field Propagation Volunteers (FPV)-Thirty-five (35) Propagation Volunteers needed, with a minimum of five volunteers with the Department of Interior’s Driver Certification. Each volunteer should have knowledge or interest in planting demonstration areas, data collection and GPS mapping. Light to moderate physical activity is necessary, and volunteers may work in hot weather conditions. After training, teams will volunteer two 8 hour days per month, four months per year.

6. Data Entry Volunteers (DEV)-Each volunteer should have knowledge of data entry. Volunteers will input milkweed plant locations, data, GPS mapping coordinates, and photos. Knowledge of Google Earth or other mapping programs desired (but we can teach you if you aren’t familiar!). After training, teams will volunteer 15 hours per month.

7. Community Service Volunteers (CSS) –Ten Community Service Volunteers needed. Volunteers should be comfortable making presentations to civic, educational and public groups. After training, teams will volunteer two 4 hour days per month, four months per year.

8. Seeds of Success (SOS)-Ten Seeds of Success volunteers who have completed the BLM training. Our grant will submit certain collected seeds to the SOS program. SOS’s mission is to collect wild land native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation, and ecosystem restoration. The long-term conservation outcome of the SOS program is to support BLM’s Native Plant Materials Development Program, whose mission is to increase the quality and quantity of native plant materials available for restoring and supporting resilient ecosystems. The intent is to reserve them in several seed vaults for future use. After training, teams will volunteer two 4 hour days per month, four months per year.

We need Volunteers (that is you!)

This grant is a first of this type for us and it is larger than any other grant we have undertook. Our success is clearly dependent on your help! Please keep me posted with your needs and comments, and certainly do bring new volunteers to us. We cover a broad band of types volunteer needs, no one is too young or too old, too physically fit or not, skilled or not, one volunteer or a group, we will find a fit for you.

First of the year

They are out! Our first erosas of the year, we found them yesterday, we assume they arrived around March the 10th. All total we located around 30+ plants, some from last year and some new. They are on the road side and in the wash in Spring Mountain Ranch, the site we found them last year. This will be our first data entry for our Field Team A (Sue and Roger Kolar) with our new Garmin GPS’.

Our seed propogation count is near 12,000 at the Floyd Lamb Nursery.

Our first planting of the year is set for April 23 at Spring Mountain Ranch (We’ll plant erosas and have 25 signed up for that plant) and the second is set for May 7th at the Warm Springs Natural Area on the Muddy River (we’ll plant showy’s have 70 signed up for that plant).

Friends of Red Rock Canyon receive $135,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to save Monarch butterflies.

Las Vegas, NV, November 6, 2015: Friends of Red Rock Canyon, a volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, received funding to help increase the Monarch butterfly population. This project will identify existing Monarch breeding sites as well as collect seeds to establish additional breeding and migration “stop-over” sites throughout southern Nevada. The two-year project will focus on locating, mapping and collecting over 500,000 native milkweed seeds on federal and state lands as well as creating and expanding the Monarchs “bed and breakfast” migration routes.

Volunteers will be trained on milkweed identification and seed collection beginning in January 2016. The majority of the collected seeds will be reserved for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Seeds of Success program. The remainder of the collected seeds will be cultivated at the Nevada Division of Forestry’s Nursery facility and will be ultimately planted on private, federal and state land beginning in late fall 2016. Plants will also be made available on a limited basis to the public for creating an urban oasis for Monarch butterflies.

“Friends of Red Rock Canyon is excited to begin the process of expanding and improving the habitats of the Monarch butterfly,” said Chuck Williams, President of Friends of Red Rock Canyon. “We are looking forward to working closely with the BLM in addition to our new partners: the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the State of Nevada. We believe the unique partnership efforts will increase the population of this critical pollinator.”

The population of the Monarch butterfly has plummeted over the past 20 years from 1 billion to less than 60 million today. This serious decrease is due mostly to loss of critical habitats. The reduction of the Monarch butterfly population is an indicator of the health of the native landscape and its pollinators. Native milkweed is a primary component of the health and migration of the Monarch butterflies: The milkweed habitat is essential for the laying/incubation of Monarch eggs and provides food for the resulting caterpillars. The plants also provide nectar for the migrating adult Monarchs.

Friends of Red Rock Canyon is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the public lands of southern Nevada. Founded in 1984, the group has donated over $3,000,000 in direct financial support for Red Rock Canyon as well as over 500,000 volunteer hours.

Stages of Monarch

The monarch will lay a single egg on the underside of milkweed leaf.The egg will hatch in about four days and then begin this five stages of instar (molting) before creating a chrysalis (pupa).The fully formed monarch emerges in about two weeks.This can occur up to 300 times in the monarch lifecycle.

Plant Descriptions


Milkweed Identification

Davis and Pallid MilkweedGrows in dry, open, barren places such as washes, slopes and hillsides, pinyon/juniper woodlands, sagebrush and in salt desert shrub areas.
This species can also grow in clay, sand, gypsum or serpentine soils.
The plants are low growing with flowers gathered in small clusters on drooping stalks. The leaves and stems have a waxy coating giving them a frosted appearance.
Elevation: 2,450 to 8,200 feet
Flowers during May and June
Flower color: corolla pale green, corona purple
Maximum height: 1 feetDesert MilkweedGrows in dry washes, gulches, canyons and roadsides in open deserts. Can also be found in the creosote bush, shadscale and sometimes sagebrush communities.
The desert milkweed plants are tall and stout with large, broad leaves that are opposite each other on the stems. The leaves, stems, flower buds and fruit are covered in fine hairs.
Elevation: 500 to 6,700 feet
Flowers from April through August
Flower color: corolla pale green or yellow, corona is cream or yellow
Maximum height: 6 feetHorsetail MilkweedPrefers sandy soils and grows in the following plant communities: creosote, blackbrush, saltbush,rabbitbrush, pinyon/juniper, mountain brush and open ponderosa pine.
The horsetail also grows on roadsides and along ditches and streams.
The fruits are narrow, tapered and smooth-textured.
Elevation: 2,700 to 7,200 feet
Flowers from June through August
Flower color: yellow to cream corolla with white corona
Maximum height: 3 feetNarrowleaf MilkweedNarrowleaf milkweed, also known as Mexican whorled milkweed, growns in pinyon-juniper, sagebrush and mountain brush communities.
It prefers moist to dry places including streambeds, roadsides, the banks of irrigation ditches and plowed fields.
The plant has multiple clusters of small pink and white flowers. The leaves are narrow and numerous often folded lengthwise. The fruits are narrow, tapered and smooth.
This species resembles the horsetail milkweed and the whorled milkweed.
Elevation: 1,600 to 6,500 feet
Flowers from June through August
Flower color: pink corolla with white corona
Maximum height: 3 feetRush MilkweedThe rush milkweed grows in washes and sandy well-drained soils.
The grayish green leaves are small and linear, 1 to 2 inches long by ⅛ inch wide, and indistinct unless adequate moisture is available.
The fruit is horn shaped up to 3 inches long.
Elevation: Below 3,000 feet
Flowers from April through December
Flower color: Found in umbel shape with 10 or more flowers per cluster. Cream, white or yellow corolla, hoods and horn
Maximum height: 4 feetShowy MilkweedPrefers moist to moderately moist soil in open, sunny, areas including wetlands, meadows,dry streambeds and also along streams,roadsides and the banks of irrigation ditches.
The showy milkweed, tolerant of alkaline soil, sometimes grows in stands of several hundred plants.
The plants are stout and erect with broad leaves covered in soft hairs. The hoods of the flowers are elongated and shaped like a 5-pointed star. The fruit, generally in pairs, are rough and covered in dense, wooly hair.
Elevation: 500 to 8,000 feet
Flowers from May to August
Flower color: pink corolla with pink or white corona
Maximum height: 4 feetSpider MilkweedGrows in gravelly and rocky soil or on exposed talus in ponderosa pine, woodland, pinyon-juniper, sagebrush and mountain brush communities.
The plants are lowgrowing and often form dense clumps.
Spider milkweeds are different from other milkweeds as the corolla of the flower forms a cup around the corona rather than being bent backward.
The tear-drop shaped fruits are covered in fine hairs and sometimes have a striped pattern.
Elevation:4,100 to 9,000 feet
Flowers from May to July
Flower color: color: yellowish-green corolla with purple and white corona
Maximum height: 2 feetSwamp MilkweedRequires full sun and generally grows in damp to wet soils or areas that are occasionally flooded such as edges of ponds, streams or along ditches.
Its stems are branched and the clump forming plants emerge in late spring after most plants have begun their annual growth.
The bright green paired leaves, 3 to 6 inches long, are long, narrow and lance shaped, with the ends tapering to a sharp poi
Elevation:500 to 5,000 feet
Flowers from June to October
Flower color: color: Umbels with white to rose/red corolla with white to light pink corona
Maximum height: 5 feet

Milkweed Locations


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