Help a Monarch: Be a Butterfly Hero

 

Help a Monarch: Be a Butterfly Hero

by Amy Lignor

 

Not many know that one of the most beautiful species that we have gotten used to seeing all our lives has declined by over 90%. It is a truth that the monarch butterfly population has actually lost one-third of its monarch butterfly population, declined by over 90%, ill agricultural and gardening practices, become a "Butterfly Hero"summer breeding habitats in the U.S. because they have been destroyed, due to ill agricultural and gardening practices.

 

So…enter the heroes. As part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program, “Butterfly Heroes” is calling out to kids, families and teachers to get involved, to connect with the gardeners and agricultural industry out there in America and try to start up projects that will end up creating new habitats for monarch butterflies; a place where they can safely live, fly and breed.

 

Planting food for the monarch butterfly is a must. By pledging to be a Butterfly Hero, you will pledge to plant a garden that provides food, water and safety. So, how do you pledge? Simple. Head to the website of the NWF (www.nwf.org) and seek out “Butterfly Heroes.” Once there, you enter a photo on the Butterfly Heroes Pledge page of you, your family, your community or your class making the American Sign Language sign for butterfly. (This is made by linking your thumbs and crossing your two hands in front of you at the wrists with your palms facing you.)

 

Once you do this, you will receive the “Butterfly Hero” kit which includes, a seed packet with native milkweed or a flowering nectar plant for your garden, because the monarchs drink nectar from flowers and their caterpillars eat only milkweed. Planted in a sunny spot with some protection from the wind, these garden seeds will sprout in the spring, grow in summertime and come back every year. You will also get a Ranger Rick Wildlife Notebook where you can write down your observations as you watch the growth of your garden and all the butterflies, caterpillars, and even other wildlife move in to make it their new home address.

 

Parents, becoming a “Butterfly Hero” allows you to spend some incredible time with your kids. You will have the fun of enjoying nature and seeing your child’s face light up as they take on a project that not only helps wildlife, but also educates them as they take care of the garden and watch the butterflies, bees, and birds arrive.

 

There are even extras that the NWF Activity Finder suggest that will help you and your child connect even more with nature. From creating an Enchanted Wildlife Garden to growing a sunflower playhouse; from hosting a hunt for fireflies to a dewdrop discovery, there are lists of things that can be done to keep your child entertained and the monarchs’ wings fluttering. It is a wonder out there, and all kids should play a part in that, as well as be the heroes who will make sure these species never have to be at risk again.

 

And for the teacher? Your students can explore, learn and actually become the scientists in your town or city. By creating a monarch habitat garden, students can better engage with nature while classes are made fun. Seedling observation and measurement perfectly works as a math class; while tracking weather impacts on the garden and observing the growth of nature that the garden supports makes for the perfect science class. Now, THIS is learning.

 

The NWF would like kids, families, parents, teachers – everyone out there – to help reach their goal of getting 10,000 people to plant butterfly gardens as part of the “Butterfly Heroes” project. Gain education, have fun, spend time outside and with your loved ones just by making the pledge at www.nwf.org/garden.

 

It is time to save this iconic creature. Make sure the monarch butterfly continues on.

monarch butterfly population, declined by over 90%, ill agricultural and gardening practices, become a "Butterfly Hero"

Source:  Baret News