RAGBRAI: helping the monarch butterfly population on the route

An effort to help the butterfly ecosystem during the ride across Iowa

By Bria Bell | bbell@kcautv.com

Published 07/29 2016 06:30AM

Updated 08/07 2016 06:31PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

RAGBRAI is quickly coming to a close, and cyclists' will be passing a lot of green pastures on their 51 mile ride on Friday.

Many riders will be tossing out milkweed seedballs that help to pollinate the grass which helps produce monarch butterflies.

A tent dedicated to enhancing the monarch butterfly count in Iowa was handing out milkweed seedballs and  informing riders on the dangers the species faces due to the different chemicals used out in fields due to the Iowa's strong farming industry.

These practices were inspired by one woman after she rode her first RAGBRAI a couple years ago and decided that riders could potentially help save monarchs during the tour.

"We've given out around 25, 000, we made 50,000 so I'm happy with that progress, says Kelly Guilbeau. "Teams are coming with big bags, they're coming back everyday to fill up their bags. The support vehicles are coming to support from their cars  as they're driving to the meeting towns."

The group also handed out another type of seed for riders with acres of land to take back home with them to help feed monarchs in other locations around the country as well.

This effort is one of the ways RAGBRAI helps the ecosystem, raise awareness and unites people.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


comments powered by Disqus