Western Dubuque Biodiesel completes butterfly habitat seeding

By The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | June 11, 2020

Western Dubuque Biodiesel recently came one step closer to providing monarch butterflies with vital habitat on plant grounds by seeding the biodiesel plant’s Monarch Fueling Station. 

The seed mixture consisted of native grasses and other plants that attract pollinators, including a special emphasis on milkweed plants. Milkweed is the only plant monarchs can lay their eggs on.

“Biodiesel production is all about finding ways to repurpose,” said Tom Brooks, general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel. “Biodiesel plants across the country repurpose excess soybean oil and other animal and vegetable fats into fuel. It is in that same spirit that we are repurposing some of our land to help fuel monarch butterflies passing through Iowa.”

Western Dubuque Biodiesel began prepping its three-acre Monarch Fueling Station last summer with help from Kevin Reynolds, habitat establishment coordinator for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

“Seeding their habitat is an exciting next step,” Reynolds said. “It will take time for the plants to develop a root system and reach their full growth potential but there is no doubt that Western Dubuque Biodiesel is well on their way to contributing to state-wide efforts to boost monarch butterfly habitat.”

The Monarch Fueling Station Project was established by IRFA in partnership with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in December 2017. It is a program to help Iowa’s ethanol and biodiesel plants establish patches of monarch habitat on plant grounds.

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