Can Children and Families Help Bring Back The Monarch?

5 Simple Tips for Saving Vanishing Species in Your Yard and Community


When I was a child my parents subscribed to National Geographic and I always looked forward every month to see what new wonders of the world they would surprise and delight us with in their latest issue. We kept those

Photo credit: Monarch Watch/Moving for Monarchs
Photo credit: Monarch Watch/Moving for Monarchs

magazines for years and used them for all sorts of homework and art projects.

There was one issue in particular that was my favorite and I still have it; August, 1976. That month featured a beautiful photo of a woman surrounded by monarch butterflies in their secret wintering haven in Mexico.

Growing up in Central Texas, I’ve always had a special admiration for the monarch butterfly. Each April and October they flutter along ancient migration routes that carry them through Texas. When I was at college at Texas State University, I would linger in the library on campus to watch the butterflies float along, catching the updrafts of the building as they journey to and from Mexico.

On days when I felt like there was no possible way that I could continue on with working full time and going to school full time; I would watch those little creatures and be inspired to keep going.

On November 22, 2013 the New York Times published an article titled “The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear.” The article summarized that the monarchs have dropped to record lows and explained all the many factors for their demise; pesticides, loss of habitat, loss of milkweed and native plants, and an increase in extreme weather patterns. Fewer than 3 million butterflies reached their wintering grounds in Mexico this year compared to 60 million last year.



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