Monarchs are one of the most known and iconic North American pollinator species. In recent years their popularity has grown mostly due to the continuous news of their endangerment and increasingly limited population. The number of overwintering butterflies has dropped by 90% over the last two decades.
Sadly, these beautiful insects are being disproportionately affected by the implications of industrial agriculture, pesticides, herbicides, and climate change.
In addition, just last week, the Trump administration’s signed a new executive order weakening the Endangered Species Act which in part, reduces protections to monarch butterflies.
Year after year the number of western monarch butterflies continues to drop. The monarch population declined by about 97% in the mid-2010s, and in 2018, the drop was much faster. A recent count by the Xerces Society, found a record low number of around 28,000 western monarch butterflies seen in all of 2018, which is an 86% drop from the previous count done in November of 2017.
Due to the fact that monarchs are facing so many threats, it is more important now than ever to protect them.
I have been a food safety and environmental activist for 9 years now. My passion has always included conservation, but has centrally been focused on advocacy, education, and political work. I wasn't exactly sure where monarchs fit into the scheme of things, or how to help them, aside from planting milkweed. That is until last year, when a monarch fluttered into my yard and laid an egg. That one egg changed everything, and I never looked back.
I began to learn everything I could about the species while raising them. This project is now on its second year and currently we are on target to release over 500 monarchs by the end of the summer from my own back yard. Being a part of raising them, watching them hatch, and passing through their phases to evolve into their true form is beyond humbling.
With this project ever expanding and growing, facing new demands, our goal is to build a Monarch education conservation space. This initiative has an aim of not only increasing western monarch population, but creating awareness among the public about how we can all better protect them. We hope to create a haven where monarchs will be able to thrive and reproduce. sanctuary
With the current conditions our world is facing, with changing climates, weather patterns, environmental destruction and species loss, aiding in the population effort may seem like a small drop in the bucket. And while the contribution may seem small, the impact of each of these butterflies and the ripple effects one action can have is greater than we know. Amid the chaos and confusion ahead, each butterfly released offers a glimmer of hope and a reminder of the type of world we are fighting for.
I cannot imagine a world for children and future generations that does not include these incredible species. I refuse to sit idle and allow this to continue, and while time is running out, it’s not too late to be a part of the solution.
If we are going to protect this species from extinction we need your help.
We're looking for donations to help maintain and further develop this project. Any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated. All funds raised go directly to:
- obtaining and caring for milkweed production - caring for monarchs - creating butterfly and pollinator gardens - creating a sanctuary building that can be enjoyed by all
Please share this page and help make our vision of protecting monarchs come to fruition!
About the organizer:
Rachel Parent is a youth activist whose passions include food and climate, social justice, animal rights, responsible consumption, and environmental protection. In 2012, Rachel founded Kids Right to Know, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating youth, about the connection between food production and climate change, with a focus and transparency in the labelling of Genetically Modified Food in Canada and the USA.
She has given dozens of television, radio, magazine and online interviews, including a well- publicized debate about GMO labelling with celebrity host Kevin O’Leary on CBC Television. In Addition she has given two TEDx talks presentations. She has been internationally recognized as an environmental speaker and awarded for her work, including the Rob Stewart Youth Eco-Hero Award, Elle Quebec Magazine Woman of the Year, Post City Magazine Toronto most inspiring Women of 2017, Toronto NOW Magazine's Eco-Heroes, along with a long list of recognitions and awards. Rachel is presently dedicated to the development of a Monarch Butterfly conservation program. She is the Director of Gen- Earth Events, an environmental platform dedicated to education through film and activism, with the goal of motivating youth to learn about organic regenerative climate solutions to help make the world a better place for humans, animals and our planet.