Coinciding with National Pollinator Week, June 22-28, Pheasants Forever and the Monarch Joint Venture are hosting a virtual Miles for Monarchs nationwide event to raise awareness around the decline of native pollinators, while generating much-needed financial support to advance pollinator conservation work throughout the country.
Miles for Monarchs is an exciting way to support monarch butterflies and associated pollinator habitat through athletic activities. By way of running, walking, biking, hiking or paddling through monarch regions of the United States, individuals and families can help raise critical funds for monarch research, education, and habitat projects.
“Pollinator Week festivities may look a little different this year, but there is still so much work to carry forward and fun to be had in sharing your support for pollinators,” stated Wendy Caldwell, executive director of the Monarch Joint Venture. “Miles for Monarchs makes it easy to choose any type of exercise you love, see how far you can ‘migrate’ during pollinator week, and help tell the story of pollinators and your support for them throughout your network. Registering to be a part of Miles for Monarchs not only supports monarchs and their amazing annual migrations, it supports the many other pollinators, wildlife, and plants who share the same habitats.”
“Monarch butterflies are a great barometer of environmental health and easy for nature lovers to identify with,” stated Drew Larsen, Pheasants Forever’s director of education and outreach. “Using these attributes, we’ve designed a fun and conservation-minded platform for individuals, organizations, and whole communities to support the comeback of the iconic monarch butterfly. Additionally, great pollinator habitat fuels the life cycle of upland birds, which is why Pheasants Forever maintains itself as a leader in pollinator habitat projects nationwide.”
Funds raised through this virtual event will support habitat, research, and education work across the U.S. to protect monarchs and other pollinators through programs implemented by Pheasants Forever and the Monarch Joint Venture. These programs include youth habitat pollinator projects, habitat demonstration projects, research and monitoring activities, and educational events.
How to Participate
Individuals and teams can participate by registering for the virtual event. After registering, participants will receive an email with tips for the event, how to share your challenge on social media, and how to account for miles earned. Three different levels of participation will be offered based on the number of miles you set as a goal:
- A Day in the Life — A monarch butterfly can travel about 25 miles in a single day, and sometimes more, during its annual migration. Can you travel that far during the course of Pollinator Week? Jump on your bike, hike your favorite trails, walk through your neighborhood.
- Fast Flight — Looking for a shorter commitment than 25 miles? Butterflies have been known to fly at a speed of five miles per hour. Travel five miles during the week! Walk a mile each day, get outside for a few days, or move five miles in one day. How long does it take you?
- Garden Meander — Bonus Challenge! Spend time outside doing your favorite activities and observing monarch habitats. Encourage your family to join you and help you spot habitat. Complete one mile or complete 50 miles! Add this as a bonus to your Day in the Life or Fast Flight, or select this to create your own challenge.
For more information regarding the Miles for Monarchs campaign or to host an event in your own community, contact Ella Phillips at 651-222-7631 Ext. 713 or Drew Larsen at 308-293-1194.