Monarch Teacher Network
The Monarch Teacher Network (MTN) is a growing network of teachers and other people who use monarch butterflies to teach a variety of concepts and skills, including our growing connection with other nations and the need to be responsible stewards of the environment.
Click here for our most recent Monarch Butterfly project flyer: MTN Project flier
**** Thank you to the many people and schools who wrote letters. Our collective voices were heard. Now we need to keep raising the social consciousness about Monarchs and what can be done. And PLANT MILKWEED!
BREAKING NEWS IN FEBRUARY: As you know, the eastern Monarch population is at an all-time low. What can we do to help?
On February 19th, 2014, there is an important meeting between President Obama, President Nieto in Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Canada). The meeting will take place in Toluca, Mexico, not far from the Monarch winter colonies. Posted below is an article about that meeting. These folks are not meeting to talk about monarchs… but they could if they got enough pressure! We need lots of people… kids, parents, just-plain-folks… to write letters, send emails to President Obama or your nation’s leader. Asking him and the other leaders to take action NOW! The article below will give you talking points. The key is to have kids and schools write letters!
It’s not too late! Now is the time to act!
Here is the article from the NY Times:
North American Leaders Urged to Restore Monarch Butterfly’s Habitat
By ELISABETH MALKIN, February 14, 2014
MEXICO CITY — Hoping to focus attention on the plight of the monarch butterfly at a North American summit meeting next week, a group of prominent scientists and writers urged the leaders of Mexico, the United States and Canada to commit to restoring the habitat that supports the insect’s extraordinary migration across the continent.
Calling the situation facing the butterfly “grim,” the group issued a letter that outlined a proposal to plant milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source, along its migratory route in Canada and the United States.
Milkweed has been disappearing from American fields over the past decade as farmers have switched to genetically modified corn and soybeans that are resistant to the herbicide glyphosate that kills other plants. At the same time, subsidies to produce corn for ethanol have increased, expanding the amount of land planted with corn by an estimated 25 percent since 2007.
“We can’t ask farmers to change their habits,” said Homero Aridjis, the Mexican poet who wrote the letter, which was to be released on Friday.
Instead, the proposal encouraged planting milkweed on roadsides and between fields, and suggested subsidies for farmers to set aside land that is free of herbicides.
“This is a viable proposal. It is not impossible,” said Mr. Aridjis, who signed the letter with Gary Paul Nabhan, a conservationist and writer at the University of Arizona. “Otherwise, we face an ecological genocide, because if we take away the monarch’s plants we kill the monarchs.”
On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to meet President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada in the Mexican city of Toluca, about an hour’s drive from the volcanic mountains where the butterflies winter after flying thousands of miles.
This winter, the area that the butterflies cover dropped sharply, to 1.65 acres, the smallest ever. In 1996, the butterflies covered 45 acres across the oyamel fir forests, where they form giant fluttering colonies.
The Mexican government has proved successful over the past five years at halting most of the large-scale illegal logging that was long seen as the biggest threat to the monarch. But smaller logging continues.
“As Mexico is addressing the logging issues, so now must the United States and Canada address the effects of our current agricultural policies,” the letter said.
About 20 leading butterfly specialists signed the letter, along with conservationists, writers, artists and filmmakers from Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Peace like a river of monarchs,
MTN has three main projects it uses to reach its goals (click on a project to learn more):
- Monarch Teacher Network and the story of the Monarch Butterfly
- Voices from the Land – Connecting Language and Landscapes, Art and Culture
- Stories from the Land – Places to Stand/Places to Fly
Follow us on Facebook: Search and join “Monarch Teacher Network” in Facebook groups.
MTN offered an alternative destination for the Mexico trips because of the continued violence in Mexico. In February 2011, MTN conducted it’s first-ever tours of the California monarch colonies. These trips were a tremendous success. In January of 2014 and beyond we will return to California. To find out more about our California trip click on the link on the right “Monarch Butterflies – California trip”. We continue to monitor the situation in Mexico in anticipation for our return.
Journeys and Transformations – The Monarch Butterfly Story New Edition: Three language choices – English, French, or Spanish! This 28-minute DVD created by Monarch Teacher Network tells the story of the monarch butterfly: its life cycle and migration, its connection to people, cultures and critical environmental issues. DVD’s are available at $5 per DVD plus $4 shipping/handling… we can ship up to 4 DVDs for $4 shipping/handling so $24 = 4 dvds and shipping costs)
Here is what people are saying about this film:
- Appeals to all ages, and while retaining intellectual integrity, is emotionally engaging.
- An awesome video. I bought a copy for my children and grandchildren.
- A great teaching tool for all ages… challenging people to work together for
a sustainable future.
Monarch Life Cycle Poster. Monarch Teacher Network has created its own Monarch Life Cycle teaching poster that includes text in three languages (English, French, Spanish) while showcasing all stages of the Monarch’s life cycle and migration. Folded posters are available at $3 each plus $2 shipping/handling ($4 shipping/handling covers up to 5 posters).
To purchase a DVD or Poster, send check or money order (payable to Monarch Teacher Network), including shipping costs, with your request (Poster, DVD or both and the number of each item to:
Monarch Teacher Network – EIRC, South Jersey Technology Park, 107 Gilbreth Parkway Suite 200, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062-4446, attn: Brian H.
Include your mailing address and phone number or email in case we need to contact you. For more information, contact Brian Hayes 856.582.7000 x110 or email@example.com
- Teaching/ Learning with Monarch Butterflies
- Voices from the Land – An exciting project that connects students to nature through language arts (writing, speaking and listening skills), art, performance and technology
- One-week trips to California or Mexico to visit the Monarch Butterfly Colonies
- A growing network of teachers and other people who raise, teach, and enjoy Monarch butterflies.
Write: Monarch Teacher Network – EIRC, South Jersey Technology Park, 107 Gilbreth Parkway Suite 200, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062-4446