University of Minnesota

Monarchs as Insect Ambassadors?

Posted on Monday, February 14, 2000 at 12:59 am in Monarch Conservation Efforts

On February 14, 2000 the MN Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources passed on to the House a bill to make the monarch butterfly the MN State Butterfly.

Students and Monarchs! (Photo: MITC)

The bill was promoted by Mike Kerner’s 4th graders at O.H. Anderson School in Mahtomedi MN, who studied monarchs and decided to get involved in state politics. The senate room was filled with students, parents, monarch advocates, and media. Speaking in support of the proposed bill were Randy LaFoy, an attorney/parent; Rebecca LaFoy and Gina Bruns, 4th graders at O.H. Anderson; their teacher Mike Kerner; Cheryl Miller, Program Director of the MN Audubon Society; and Elizabeth Chastain, MITC Program Coordinator. Says Betsy, "The most rewarding part of this experience was seeing young monarch ambassadors speaking out about this butterfly that they truly respect and love. they kept the senators' interest the entire time, not an easy task! When students can have such an impact, we are going in the right direction!"

Approximately 23 states currently have a state insect or butterfly, and MN has none. MN would be well-represented by the monarch; it is home to prime monarch habitat, and also to Journey North, the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation, and MITC. We applaud the efforts of these students, and wish them luck. 

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