Jack Uldrich
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Bring Back a Billion Butterflies!

Posted in Action

IMG_1784 copyThis past February, I read this article in my local newspaper: “Nearly a Billion Monarchs Have Vanished.

After reading the article, I asked myself two questions:

How do I feel about the condition of the butterflies?

How do I explain the condition of the monarch butterflies to my children?

The answer to the first question was “not good,” and I didn’t have a good answer to the second.

These unsatisfying responses lead me to a third question: How am I preparing my children to restore the monarch butterflies?

In answer to that question, my eighth grade son has a “kindergarten buddy” program at his school. I engaged the kindergarten teacher in a campaign to have the students write letters to other schools along the “Monarch corridor”–from Minnesota down to Mexico–encouraging them to plant locally appropriate milkweed plants. (The solution to the disappearance of the monarchs has been linked to the shortage of milkweed plants. Therefore, the solution to the issue may be as simple as planting milkweed plants.)migrationmap-1024x768

The letter writing campaign began last month but, to date, the responses have slow.

This is a tad disappointing but it is no reason to be discouraged.

A billion butterflies can be brought back!

Here’s how: I recently planted a butterfly garden in my backyard and I have challenged my sister, Catie Glynn, in Lanesboro, Minnesota to plant a single milkweed plant in her yard. After doing so, she then needs to challenge two additional people somewhere between Minnesota and Michoacan, Mexico. Each person then challenges two more people.

By using the Internet and harnessing the power of exponential growth—e.g. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, etc.—to issue these challenges, there is no reason why, soon, millions of people taking just a few minutes of their time can’t plant enough milkweed to bring back a billion monarch butterflies this year!

From June 1 until September 1, 2015, the campaign will continue and a Facebook page, Bring Back a Billion Monarch Butterflies, has been started to document the journey. If you have already planted milkweed or, better yet, a butterfly garden, please send your picture(s) to Facebook/Pages/BringBackaBillionButterflies. (But please be sure to challenge two additional family members, friends, neighbors or colleagues.)

The idea is to visualize success by documenting where milkweed and butterfly gardens have been planted, as well as highlight those areas where “milkweed deserts” exists.

Armed with this information we can document our progress and determine where additional milkweed plants, butterfly gardens and campaign efforts needs to be concentrated.

If you are concerned about the future butterfly population like I am, please considering sharing this campaign on Facebook, Instragram, Twitter (#bringbackabillionbutterflies) or better yet in the old-fashioned way: face-to-face conversations.

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