Golf course helps the environment through planting

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COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation, mid-Missouri's Uplanders Quail Forever Chapter and the A.L. Gustin Golf Course hosted its third annual Youth Pollinator Habitat Program at the golf course on Stadium Boulevard Saturday.

The event is used to teach kids about the environment and pollinators like the monarch butterfly that are decreasing in numbers. 

Dozens of kids helped spread milkweed seeds on specific areas of the course to help bring pollinators to the area.

"My favorite part is is seeing them throw the milkweed seed," Isaac Breuer, the course superintendent, said. "Its got a lot of fluff to it and they like watching it float in the air kind of like bubbles."

According to the National Wildlife Federation, monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed. 

Breuer said monarch butterfly populations are down by 90 percent in the last 20 years. 

"So, we're planting a lot of milkweed on the golf course to help benefit them as they fly north in the spring and south in the fall," he said.

There were several experts at the event, like bee experts, to answer questions about the environment. 

"The kids love it," Breuer said. "They get a big kick out of our bee expert. They like to paint the beehives and we had some birds and those were a big hit, too." 

Kids also got a chance to make seed balls to take home and plant in the future.