The Houston Botanic Garden’s March for the Monarchs took participants on a journey from Mexico to the Northern United States, as they follow the route of monarch’s northern migration, to their summer breeding grounds. Along the way, they have faced challenges and obstacles and received rewards. At each station, they learned everyday things they can do to help protect monarchs on their long journey. The event culminated with a backyard celebration, welcoming the monarchs to their Northern breeding grounds. There were food, sweets, crafts, games, and info on how to make YOUR backyard a wonderful home for monarchs.
Station 1: Starting Point: Mexico (Global Garden) - Participants began their journey in Mexico with a storytelling by MECA.
Station 2: Texas (Culinary garden) - Participants reached their first stop in Texas where they fueled up on nectar and learned about the importance of Texas in growing the spring/ summer population of monarchs.
Station 3:The Midwest (area just before bayou bridge) - Here they learned about the importance of the Midwest region and the challenges that face monarchs there.
Station 4:Great lakes region (Susan Garver Family Garden)- Dr. Junrui Garcia, teaching artist of Young Audiences of Houston conducted a Community Mural Making workshop for participants to fill in a large "map" of their journey. The "map" including large monarch butterflies migrating from each station in the garden, leading up to Junrui's station. The mural also included plants from each "region" such as native milkweed. Teaching Artist, Ms. Liz Conces Spencer was also leading the painting.
In addition of adding the station stamp to the participants' migration passport, Dr. Junrui Garcia rewarded each participant with a magnet monarch butterfly (which can be put on refrigerator) who finished painting one monarch butterfly.
Ms. Erin Mills, the manager of the event decided to keep the mural so they can have more people to paint more monarch butterflies.