This week, 60,000 riders started the 500-mile route to participate in the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) While they were pedaling, many riders were also helping nature by tossing 8,000 seed balls* onto roadsides to increase the growth of milkweed.

Much of the native milkweed habitat has been destroyed, so to replenish it, Milkweed Matters hosts educational events where participants from schools, scouts, garden clubs, etc. help roll seed balls, and then it works with large-scale bike events like RAGBRAI to encourage riders to distribute them along the roadsides.

Milkweed Matters has developed a wonderful distribution system that integrates education, volunteers, and existing events to fulfill its mission. They serve as the conduit but allow others to execute their work. Take a lesson from them and capitalize on infrastructure that can be scaled, rather than starting from scratch. Little seeds of collaboration can grow into greatness.

[*Seed balls consist of soil and clay, rolled together like a meatball with milkweed seed and nectar flower seed added to the mix. It’s important to grow milkweed for Monarch butterflies which can only lay eggs on that plant, and it is the only plant its caterpillars can eat.]

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