Saturday, January 17, 2009

Monarch Migration on PBS

1) The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies: Tuesday, January 27
A TV show not to be missed - The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies--can be seen on PBS this coming Tuesday, Jan. 27th at 8:00 p.m. EST. Follow the 2,000 mile migration of Monarch butterflies to a sanctuary in the Highlands of Mexico. Monarchs face many challenges in both the United States and Mexico, and their annual migration is becoming an endangered phenomenon. "You will be awestruck to see what these little flying jewels go through to complete their brief life cycle," says Dr. Lincoln Brower who is featured in the program. "Each one of us can make a difference in increasing the Monarch population."

Read Chip Taylor's blog posting at

2) Journey North Begins! Thursday, February 5
Journey North begins in February when the monarchs are at their winter refuge deep in central Mexico. The monarch's unique winter habitat is found on only 12 mountaintops on the planet, and the monarch's story is one of nature's most incredible examples of adaptation and survival. In a unique partnership, you can join students and scientists across North America this spring to track the monarch butterfly's migration from Mexico. Sign up for email updates.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Scouts build a wetland walkway

Troop 4 and Eagle Scout candidate Rob I. built a walkway in November 2008. Located in Ann Arbor's Mary Beth Doyle Park, the walkway protects native wetland plants in the former channel of Mallett's Creek.

See Rob's photos on his page here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 - the year to honor connections

2009 is the year to honor connections among the plants and wildlife in our schoolyards and our parks. Each place is threaded by relationships - butterflies feast on the nectar of wildflowers, birds eat seeds and spread them, and other organisms turn waste back into soil and nutrients.

Among the humans who enjoy plants, birds, and insects, there are connections as well.

For example, Audubon has a downloadable poster (11x17) of a schoolyard alive with birds.

The National Wildlife federation has a schoolyard habitat program with many useful resources. Their book Schoolyard Habitats: A How-to Guide for K-12 School Communities is essential reading.

Several projects at large and small schools have been supported by the Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education program. Read their success stories here.