Let's Spread the Monarch Magic

 Jim Hudgins/USFWS/flickr

Jim Hudgins/USFWS/flickr

By Sally Stovall

Who has not experienced delight and awe when they catch sight of a monarch butterfly? But the population of this beloved species has declined by 90 percent over the past 20 years. Communities locally and nationally are mobilizing to increase monarch habitat. That’s where you come in. It turns out that urban and suburban areas are the monarch’s best hope for recovery.  Join us to launch this initiative on January 31st!

In 1975, Illinois chose the monarch as the state insect, the result of lobbying by schoolchildren. Today, the Eastern population of the monarch is in trouble. The monarch migrates between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico and is currently listed as “threatened” by the IUCN. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently charged with evaluating whether the monarch should be designated an endangered species.

We can help the monarch by providing “pockets” of habitat in every park, school, congregation and yard, whether large or small. And by meeting the monarch’s needs, we will also be helping save many other pollinators that are also endangered.

To build awareness and commitment, the Green Guides Network (an initiative of PlanItGreen with support from Community Works), along with West Cook Wild Ones and Green Community Connections, are launching an Oak Park & River Forest area campaign to engage the community in this important and delightful work. Please join us for a campaign kick-off:

Tues., Jan. 31, 2017 Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake Street At the time of your choice: 10-11:30 a.m. or 7-8:30 p.m.

Program highlights will include:

  • Excerpts from related upcoming One Earth Film Fest Films – “Flight of the Butterflies” and “Hometown Habitat”

  • Background on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife study by staff involved in the monarch research

  • Introduction to ways you can participate in this campaign

  • Planning for making this campaign a huge success

This event is free and open to the public. Come and bring a friend. Sign up here to let us know you’re coming!

The monarch decline has been documented for the Eastern population. There are year-round populations of monarchs in Florida, California, and elsewhere globally.