Saving the Monarch Butterfly – One Garden at a Time
In 2017, with the support of the Disney Conservation Fund and Botanical Interests, we distributed 66,000 Butterfly Heroes kits – native milkweed and pollinator plants and guidance (how-to) information. We placed more emphasis this year on reaching organized youth groups so that the children involved would have more instruction and more opportunities to participate in a garden care schedule that would increase their time in nature. Amazingly, the kits were all spoken for within 72 hours of making them available.
Based on three follow-up surveys with recipients – we found that this resulted in 56,000 actual native milkweed kits being planted and the creation of 32,900 gardens of various sizes. We have been flooded with stories and photos of children not only planting and growing the gardens, but also helping to actually propagate monarch butterflies.
12,500 of these garden plots were planted by individual families and involved 30,000 people in outdoor nature gardening activity. 20,400 of these garden plots were planted by schools, youth groups and community groups (such as scout groups) and involved an additional 200,000 people in outdoor nature activity.
An estimated total of 230,000 people were engaged in planting and tending to these new monarch butterfly gardens in 2017. We also found that the gardens offered an average of 20 recurring close to home nature outings for the children and adults involved.