Earth Leadership Program for kids

Female monarch laying eggs at Thoreau School.
For two years, the Friends of Lake Wingra (FoLW) has been working with elementary schools.

First we provided caterpillars from a biological supply company to demonstrate the butterfly life cycle.

Then we provided monarch chrysalises ourselves, to reduce costs and help rescue the monarchs.

In a new program for elementary schools, selected students--the Earth Leaders--will raise monarch caterpillars and teach other students about the life cycle.
  • Develop leadership and self-confidence in the student leader.
  • Develop biological knowledge and skills in the student leader.
  • Provide monarch caterpillars to classrooms at no cost.
  • Demonstrate the wonders of metamorphosis to classes.
  • Help with monarch recovery.
Steps in the program  
  • FoLW distributes potted milkweed plants, with tiny caterpillars, to participating students in August.
  • The student cares for growing caterpillars, starting one month before school opens in fall.
  • Student provides chrysalises to classrooms (next younger grade).  Parent helps find participating teachers.
  • Student speaks and demonstrates about emerging butterflies.
  • Student supervises release of butterflies.
  • Student participates in exchange of artwork & photos with children who live where the butterflies overwinter.
  • Student participates in sale of milkweed plants to parents the following spring.

FoLW provides help as needed.  The last three steps are optional.

If you would like your child to participate, contact David Thompson,  692-5467, info@lakewingra.org

Monarch eggs, each on a leaf fragment, lined up in a plastic "incubator box."  We'll provide the eggs.

Caterpillars, nearly full size, after transfer to fresh common milkweed plants.  Plants are kept in a sunny spot indoors, where the monarchs are safe from predators.

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