Butterfly girl continues Monarch preservation initiative
Aylmer’s teenaged environmental activist, Genevieve Leroux, called on people from across North America to support her in monitoring the effects of Monarch preservation efforts in three countries. In her second video since creating her YouTube page dedicated to promoting Monarch butterfly preservation – on May 2 – Leroux announced that she was starting an initiative titled the Monarch Preservation Community.
Launched through Primatologist Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots initiative, the project is a community-based program intended to connect different Monarch preservation projects in Canada, the United States and Mexico. Through the platform, members across the continent are encouraged to keep one another updated on the work they’re doing to save the species. Leroux’s video also featured a message from Goodall who thanked the youngster for bringing so much awareness to the importance of Monarch preservation over the last several years.
Goodall stressed the importance of helping the species that are greatly affected by pesticides and habitat destruction. “The numbers are decreasing,” she said. “There’s so much to learn about them,” she added. “They tell us so much about the wonders of nature.”
Hoping people will join Leroux’s Roots and Shoots group, she encouraged Monarch conservationists and enthusiasts to register with the group and share their work. “We need all the help we can get for these beautiful, beautiful insects,” Goodall said. “I hope to hear about your projects.” Having been involved with Roots and Shoots for five years with her Milkweed for Monarchs project, Leroux explained that the idea to start the Monarch Conservation Community came during a meeting with Goodall who suggested the youngster undertake the task of connecting preservation projects across the Monarch butterfly’s migration route. “In the beginning, she was my inspiration to start the whole Monarch conservation project,” said the 14-year-old Symmes Middle School Student. “It was her idea to connect other people who are working with Monarch conservation.”
Most of all, Leroux hopes that the page can create a network where Monarch conservationists can learn from one another and hopefully make a more global impact on the species’ existence. “Some people don’t feel like they’re doing enough,” she said. “Some people are confused as to what to do next and if we all work together it will make a much more impactful project.”
People can join the Monarch Conservation Community group by creating a Roots and Shoots account via its website – Rootsandshoots.org. While she isn’t certain when she will upload her next YouTube video, Leroux said it would likely focus on documenting her journey of creating a new milkweed garden in her yard, noting that she would be receiving seeds from the David Suzuki Foundation. “We’ll be planting those soon, along with some native flowers and stuff like that,” she said. “After Spring has fully arrived and we’re ready to do that, it will be my next project.”