Girl scout Faline Howard spearheads conservation movement to protect monarch butterflies

SONOMA, California– One of the most well-known butterflies, the monarch butterfly is seen by many as a symbol of transformation and hope.

Girl Scout Faline Howard’s deep admiration for monarch butterflies motivated her to lead a movement against the monarch’s dwindling population. She does this by using a plant – milkweed.

“We need to protect our pollinators and learning how to do that is very important. So by planting their crops that they need and what they like, that’s going to help them,” Howard explained.

Howard is at the Sonoma Ecology Center and has been able to plant hundreds of Narrow-leaved Milkweed seeds. Native to California, this species of spurge invites the butterflies migrating from the forests of southwestern Mexico to lay their eggs on the leaves.

Howard has endeavored to transform other landscapes as well. By planting milkweed on golf courses, local schools, and wineries, there is hope that such efforts will result in a higher population of monarchs.

“At the last count, it was less than 1 percent,” said volunteer Cindy Lindh of the Sonoma Ecology Center. “We’re doing everything we can to pull out the registers to make sure we provide a mechanism for their survival.”

What once began as the Howard’s Girl Scout Gold Award has now grown into a larger monarch butterfly conservation and restoration project.

“It would also be very sad because I didn’t get to witness a major migration of monarchs. But it used to be millions and billions, and now in 2020 we saw two thousand coming to the California coast,” shares Howard. “It’s a very large decline and we’re hoping to continue to monitor them and hope that with more conservation efforts they will recover.”

To learn more and to support the Sonoma Ecology Center, visit here. Girl scout Faline Howard spearheads conservation movement to protect monarch butterflies

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