By Pamela Logan
Every year, the monarch butterfly makes a gruelling 4,000 kilometre migratory trek to its wintering grounds and back. Besides suffering from sheer exhaustion, these majestic butterflies are struggling to find a place to land when they reach Mexico (as their habitat is being robbed by deforestation). And in Canada and the United States? Agriculture and citizens spray their crops and gardens with pesticides and herbicides – killing off their primary food source – the milkweed.
The fact of the matter is, the monarch could use a little help. Luckily, Canadian kids are stepping up to the plate and coming to the rescue of this majestic butterfly – with help from the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
We’ve recently launched a new program entitled Wild Spaces for Monarchs. It is a curriculum linked education program designed to engage and inspire kids to create or maintain important wildlife habitat with their classroom or group, and share the process using the latest online learning tools.
When classes sign up, they learn about monarch butterflies and the habitat needed to sustain them by participating in learning activities on migration and take part in seed planting for the garden they will create.
Through Wild Spaces for Monarchs program, classes and groups use online learning tools to work through educational units about the lives of monarch butterflies, then apply their new knowledge to accompanying quizzes and activities. After they complete the units, they head outdoors to create a monarch garden. They’re also encouraged to share pictures and stories about their wild space.
“Having young people head outdoors, get their hands dirty, and do something tangible and real for wildlife is what will inspire the next generation of conservation stewards,” says Wade Luzny, CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President.
Do you have kids or grandkids in school? Share this story with their teachers!