RHINELANDER - The Oneida County Land and Water Conservation Department hosted its third annual Seed Sowing Party Wednesday morning. Volunteers scooped dirt and planted native seedlings at the Oneida County Courthouse.
"We are putting out, and I'm not kidding, probably 10,000 seeds from different species of wildflowers," said Pollinator Coordinator Baerbel Ehrig.
Ehrig says those seeds will help restore a number of natural habitats here in Oneida County. But first, nature must take its course.
"They need cold and snow to germinate. So we will take them home and set them in seed frames. They'll be sitting outside all winter long," said Ehrig.
"Then, in the summer and fall, they'll be planted in habitats in the county," said Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator Stephanie Boismenue.
Boismenue says this method is tried and true.
"One site we've completely restored by doing this process. By collecting the native seeds, sowing the seeds, and then planting them into the sites," said Boismenue.
Some plants will be used to create thriving pollinator gardens to support native bee and butterfly populations. Ehrig says its vital to protect pollinators.
"Since we are dependent on their well-being as a human species, it's in our best interest to do whatever we can to support them," said Ehrig.
Volunteers carefully planted thousands of seeds from nearly 30 native species. Boismenue was thankful for all their help.
"We could not do this without all of our volunteers today," said Boismenue. "I'm really feeling very lucky that so many people have come, not just from Oneida County but Langlade, Lincoln, Vilas and Forest County."