While there will be more info on projects in future Blog entries, the three projects below are our main focus at Monarch Mentors. Monthly trainings will be provided at pre-set locations (local to western NC).
We ask that volunteer mentors provide at least three Monarch conservation programs to their community within a year. This all-volunteer corps of community educators will be a great conservation tool in protecting valuable habitat for monarchs and other pollinators and assisting local schools with advice for onsite butterfly gardens. Often times these informal programs from volunteers result in a much deeper interest in gardening, pollination biology - - and even planet care.
Project 1. Paying it Forward . . . . with public slideshow programs
Equipped with a simple slide show program and a printed slide transcript to read, Monarch Mentors provide community and civic organizations a one-hour program about pollinators and how using the monarch as the flagship species brings others to the conservation table with ease and enjoyment.
No specific science background is needed; just a community room (such as a library or church fellowship hall), a projector, wall/screen and the willingness to read the slide-by-slide narration that has been written by monarch scientists and naturalists and pre-printed from this website. If audience members have serious questions during or following the program, they may submit inquiries to this website for an email response.
The image of the annual life cycle is courtesy of Journey North here:
Project 2. Paying it Forward . . .
. . . with Monarch Waystations
Monarchs and other pollinators need advocates to speak up for them.
Monarch Mentors actively seek protection for wild stands of native milkweeds wherever possible and promote the additions of native milkweeds to gardeners' collections at homes, schools, businesses, highway and utility right of ways and cemetery locations. Awareness is created regarding the harmful, long-lasting effects of chemical insecticides and herbicides. Conversion of small plots of meadow and native plants from all-lawn areas is another goal.
For more info, access Monarch Watch's webpage: "Monarch Waystations".
Project 3. Paying it Forward . . .
. . . with Pollinator Giving Trees
Pollinator Giving Trees provide both fun and educational activities to learn about pollinators utilizing crafts, creativity and community. Folks can choose to utilize small artificial holiday trees to 'decorate' or 'adorn' with hand-made ornaments that represent the "gifts of nature" of and from pollinators. Creating small honeybees, native bees, ladybugs, dragonflies, hummingbirds, bats, beetles, butterflies and moths can help students learn about their identification, which plants they pollinate, and ways to help them survive. The main lesson take-away is their importance in a healthy ecosystem and our national food supply. There is a Facebook page by the same name where folks may share photos/stories of their "Pollinator Giving Trees".
A separate blog article on PGTs will be forthcoming.
For more info, visit: Pollinator Giving Trees.