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Stops feature native plants

Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

ROCKFORD – Rock River Valley Chapter of the Wild Ones Natural Landscaping group will sponsor a free tour July 26 and 27.

The visit will focus on how to include native plants to attract butterflies, bees, and birds.

Participants will see nine natural yards and public spaces in Belvidere, Rockford, Rockton, Roscoe, and South Beloit. To kick off the tour, a presentation on “Surrounding Yourself with Nature: Strategies for the Home Landscape” will be at 9 a.m. July 26 at the Northern Illinois University – Rockford campus, 8500 E. State St. Michael R. Jeffords, Ph.D., will speak about insects and native plants in Illinois natural areas, and monarch butterflies in the oyamel fir forests of central Mexico. The cost to attend is $5 for nonmembers.

The yards and public spaces will be open for tours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 and 1 to 5 p.m. July 27. Each site will feature activities for families, along with information about ways to help monarch butterflies by planting milkweeds, and local sources to purchase native plants. Families will receive a free milkweed plant while supplies last.

Visit for a free list of tour sites and directions.

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