I Forgot How Nice it Feels

I’ve forgotten how nice it is to talk to someone (anyone, really) about my conservation work for monarch butterflies. This morning I got to do just that for half an hour! I cannot tell you much yet, but I was interviewed for an upcoming article by a conservation organization. This was something that just came my way out of the blue yesterday! I received an email and was asked if I could be interviewed! Hell, yeah!

Large Monarch Caterpillar on Rose Milkweed, © Carol Labuzzetta, 2016

Everyone needs to feel valued and appreciated. Often, I find myself participating in conversations that are generated by others’ interests. That’s okay – it’s part of socializing and being friends. But, to feel appreciated and sought out by others, now that really makes one feel good!

So many people have gotten involved in Monarch Conservation over the last ten years! There is much more interest and information out there than when I started caring for monarch butterflies in 2003. Luckily, I had some idea of what would be asked during this interview and went over a personal timeline in my head.

2003 – Transformational Experience

2003 – Master Gardener Training

2004 – Founded Evergreen Garden Club at Evergreen Elementary School

2006 – Guided garden club students in a research process to plant a butterfly garden at school

2006 – Butterfly garden planted with three types of milkweed (2007)

2006 – Started reporting observations to Journey North – begins Citizen Science journey

2008 – School butterfly garden certified as a Monarch Waystation by Monarch Watch

2009 – Students participated in Monarch in Space project with NASA in Evergreen’s LMC

2014 – Started community education presentations on monarchs and habitat conservation

  • Holmen Lionesses
  • Sparta Garden Club
  • Tomah Lions Club
  • In-school presentations – Holmen, West Salem

2014 – Milkweed seed collection at Evergreen – sent to Monarch Watch

2014 – Developed Monarch Education for the Environment Course for College for Kids

2015 – Spoke at State Master Gardener Conference on Monarchs and Milkweed

2015 – Started tagging monarchs for Monarch Watch

2016 – Milkweed Misson planting project at Praire View Elementary with fourth grades

2017 – Started new garden club at North Woods Elementary School, La Crosse

2019 – Continued community education through position with Mississippi Valley Conservancy

  • La Crosse Summer School Presentation
  • Master Naturalist training presentation

2021 – Wisc Corps Citizen Science Presentation on monarch life cycle and habitat reporting

2021 – IMMP (Integrated Monarch Monitoring Program Participant) – reported data on State Natural Area in a nearby county.

2022 – More to come!

Old handout I made showcasing my journey with monarch conservation. © Carol Labuzzetta.

Monarch conservation is my passion. I’ve been fortunate enough to share this passion with garden club students at two schools (600+), 450 first grade students over six years, and countless community members belonging to service groups or summer schools. I had forgotten how good it felt to be able to really discuss my passion with someone who was interested in hearing about my journey with Monarchs. The passion will continue, and I hope others “get the bug.”

At the State Natural Area that I monitored this past summer. © C. Labuzzetta, 2021

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