Nature educator gives presentation on monarch butterflies
By William Crooks
Local Journalism Institute
Nature educator Jessica Adams gave a presentation on monarch butterflies at Scowen Park in North Hatley Aug. 16. The Record interviewed her over the phone to get the details.
“I work for myself in nature education, amongst other things,” Adams began; her business, Nature Nerding, has been hired by the Massawippi Foundation “to get various educational projects up and running.” One of these programs runs throughout the school year for local Grades 3 and 4 students.
This monarch butterfly project is more for the general public, she said, and has been developed mostly because monarch butterflies are an endangered species. Their conservation is of particular concern to her. Monarch butterflies are no more important than other insect pollinators, she explained, but they are their “poster child.”
Adams said her parents became interested in the plight of the monarch butterfly after finding monarch eggs on the milkweed plants in their back yard. Noticing that the eggs were being fed upon and the milkweed plants they were on were being mown at inopportune times, they started a nursery for some of the eggs they found “so that they could complete their life-cycle undisturbed”.
Her parents, the David Suzuki Foundation and other related groups inspired her to spearhead her own project, she said. She has adapted various existing resources towards her own needs for her presentations at Scowen Park.
The field at the entrance of Scowen Park is loaded with milkweed, she explained, so she is determined to be proactive to preserve this essential habitat before it is destroyed and educate people on milkweed’s relationship to the monarch butterfly’s life cycle.
Adams and a team of volunteers is collecting data on the presence of monarch butterflies at Scowen Park and call themselves the “Butterfly Brigade”. They have been meeting throughout the summer to talk about how they want to operate.