The Monarch Stewards Certification Program provides volunteers with the skills and knowledge needed for conservation of monarchs and all pollinators. Throughout the program, volunteers will learn to create native pollinator friendly habitats, to contribute to research through monarch citizen science, and to amplify pollinator conservation through outreach and educational presentations.
Over the last two decades we have seen a 90% decline in the Eastern monarch population! The monarch butterfly, like many other pollinators, is imperiled by
pesticides, the loss of native habitats, urbanization, and climate change. Conservation strategies and community engagement are crucial to ensure the survival of the monarch butterfly and its marvelous and unique two-way migratory phenomenon, which spans 3,000 miles North to South. We need as many hands on deck as possible to educate others, conduct outreach, create and maintain monarch and pollinator-friendly gardens, and contribute to the ongoing scientific research of the species - We need your help!
Attend the Monarch Stewards workshop series and complete the required volunteer task for each workshop to receive the National Wildlife Federation's Monarch Stewards Certification.
You may attend any single workshop if you're interested, but you must attend all three workshops to obtain the certification.
1. Introduction to Monarch Conservation
This workshop centers on the biology and ecology of monarch butterflies, including their physiology, life cycle, annual cycle and migration, natural threats (predators, weather), and human activities that impact their survival. The workshop also includes an overview of pollinators and pollinator conservation. You will also learn what the locally adapted native host plants (milkweeds) and nectar plants are in your area that also benefit many other wildlife species, including other pollinators and birds.
2. Citizen Science
Citizen Scientists are an important asset to the Tri-National monarch conservation effort. At this workshop, you will obtain the technical skill and knowledge to collect monarch-related information in the field and provide meaningful data to the different organizations that are performing monarch butterfly scientific research. The Citizen Science workshop focuses on understanding and using the Monarch Larva Monitoring Protocol (MLMP), testing for the Ophryocystis elektroscirrha protozoan parasite (monarch health), tagging monarchs (Fall migration tracking), and collecting and reporting data on monarch sightings. You will also learn how to efficiently use crowd sourced online apps, such as iNaturalist, to identify species and to collect specific monarch related data.
3. Gardening for Monarchs and other Wildlife with Native Plants
This workshop focuses on learning how to design and create urban gardens using native plants adapted to specific ecotypes. It will also help you hone your presentation skills for working with community groups in support of monarch conservation and audiences that are new to the topic. You will learn how to identify opportunities for monarch habitat restoration, and how to create an attractive garden for wildlife in your front yard and other urban areas using native plants.
Stay tuned for upcoming workshop dates.
The National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Regional Center is currently hosting a webinar series about our native Texas pollinators. Every month, we will hear from a local expert who will talk about science-based facts that will help us to appreciate even more these amazing living creatures. Other experts will elaborate on how we can help increase the pollinator populations in our Texas ecosystems, including habitat restoration in urban, suburban, and private lands. Get to know our local pollinator and pollinator conservation experts in a relaxed, friendly environment. These one-hour webinars are free and open to all the public. View upcoming webinars in this series on our events page.
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.