Move4Monarchs at STM

  • Location
    San Francisco, California
  • Status
  • Age Level
    Any Age

The Problem

With Move4Monarchs as our guide, we will provide a Monarch butterfly friendly environment at our school and surrounding areas. This will help to address the problem of the rapidly declining Monarch butterfly population, support other pollinators, and it will add more joy to our world. We will plant Milkweed, pollinator plants, and provide solar fountains for a fresh water source for bees and butterflies. We can also help protect Monarch caterpillars from predation by birds with protective netting to maximize chrysalis formation success. Then, the netting can be carefully removed.

Our Plan

We will plant Milkweed, pollinator plants, and provide solar fountains for a fresh water source for bees and butterflies. We will germinate more milkweed seeds to donate to our surrounding communities for planting in our home gardens. We will also contribute milkweed and pollinator plants to the retirement community across the street from our school. This way, we will serve all of the children at our school, the elderly retirees in the community near us, and the many surrounding cities where we all live. We will provide plants to many others and help to rescue the monarch population with a favorable habitat at our school.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Community Enhancement
  • term icon
    Endangered Species
  • term icon
    Habitat Destruction
  • term icon

The Benefit

  • term icon
  • term icon
  • term icon

Here is how the project went:

We went to Santa Cruz, CA to see the place where many Monarch Butterflies from the West Coast spend their Winters. Back at our school in San Francisco, we planted Milkweed seeds to try to provide more food for the Monarch caterpillars. We worked in teams. These seeds germinated into TINY plants that seemed to take FOREVER to grow! Later, our tiny plants either withered and died or had mold or fungus that killed them. It is very difficult to grow milkweed in San Francisco! Then, we learned a SURPRISING fact: Milkweed should NOT be planted within 10 miles of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. Why? Because it confuses the butterflies and prevents them from following their usual migration path back into the central part of California and into other western states. So, we had to completely change our plan for this project. Because we saw a California Pipevine Butterfly in our schoolyard earlier in Fall, we decided to help support the LOCAL butterflies of San Francisco. We investigated and found the plants that are needed for them and planted some at our homes. We also put solar fountains at our school to provide fresh water for insects and butterflies there. The solar fountain keeps the water moving gently to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water.

Through this project I/we learned:

1) Milkweed is not easy to grow in San Francisco. 2) Milkweed should NOT be planted in yards that are within ten miles of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California because it can cause the Monarchs to stay near the coast and confuse them. They might not follow their migration path back into central California and to other Western states. 3) Working in teams is FUN!

What I/we might change:

We would NOT germinate Milkweed. Instead, we would germinate plants that are needed to support the local butterflies of San Francisco.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

bringing home our own plants to grow in our gardens to help the local butterflies and insects. With EVERYONE growing these butterfly friendly plants, many more native butterflies can successfully survive.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

We gave our groups fun names (like Butterflies, Chrysalis, or Caterpillars) and wrote the names on our planting pots!

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Get To Know Our Model

New Report