Save Our Streams (SOS)
Birding Station Restoration
Work has already begun to restore the Birding Station on the Ike's grounds. While the Girl Scouts have made a great start, there is more to do!
Our Chapter initially set up two beehives in Spring of 2019. In mid-summer, we dertermined that one of the hives was not doing well. We added two additional hives, bringing the count to four. The hives struggled throughout the summer and fall, but we had high hopes that there was enough honey stored up, to make it through the winter. Early on, in 2020, Neil Mittelberg checked on our bees, only to find that three of the four hives failed to make it through the winter, and number 4 was marginal. Undeterred, Neil has been working feverishly to re-establish our bees this Spring. The video shows Neil and a brave videographer reloading our hives in April, 2020. Additional pictures show the bee packages as they arrive, and Neil opening one, ready to plant the new bees.
We're are establishing prairie plots with native vegetation on the Ike's grounds. Last fall, we prepared the grassy area of our grounds along 42nd Steet, and seeded the area in mid-winter. Look for progress along 42nd Street as 2020 unfolds.
Contact the Conservation Committee for more details.
In Spring, 2019, we prepared two 9 x 9 foot areas for growing Monarch butterflies. After the newly planted seeds and seedlings were established, we erected a Bio Tent over one of the plots. Caterpillars, obtained from the Monarch Research program were placed inside the tent. Over the Spring and Summer, the caterpillars ate, built chrysalis, and in late Summer, we had a nice healthy crop of about 50 Monarch butterflies. These were released in early August.
Contact the Conservation Committee for more details, or if you wish to help.
This Linn County Ike's crew worked to set up two monarch butterfly rearing tents on the grounds Friday, May 29th. They weeded last year's beds, planted new milkweed, assembled the tents, and staked them in place. Our chapter purchased a second tent this year to help increase the population output.
Now that the tents are up, caterpillar eggs will be introduced once the milkweed matures a bit. The tents protect the monarch caterpillars from all forms of predators as they go through their 4 stages of life. The tents require constant monitoring to remove insects that might feed on the eggs and chrysalis. The tents keep birds from getting to the tasty (to birds, at least) caterpillars. The caretakers will not only water the plants but will vacuum up any of the predator bugs that get inside the tents.
L-R: John Welton, Kealey Oldham (caretaker), Charlie Ong Sr., Clar Baldus (caretaker), CJ Ong Jr., Bill Grams and Neil Mittelberg. Photographes by Dale Braun.