SSJI receives a Stark Family Fund grant to support Return of the Monarchs

by Cheryl Anderson (published in The Shoreliner, June 2023)

South Shore Joint Initiative is pleased to announce reception of a grant from the Stark Family Foundation. The grant will support the 2023 version of Wild Thing – Return of the Monarchs. Every year in June, County residents notice Monarchs returning from their multi-generational migration from Mexico. Prince Edward County includes one of the three International Monarch butterfly reserves in Ontario at Prince Edward Point.

Monarch egg laid on Common Milkweed
Miller Family Nature Reserve (Photo: John F. Foster)


Monarchs have been declared internationally endangered. Educating and informing children and residents about this iconic and unique butterfly will help to support population restoration efforts. Return of the Monarchs is an educational program. It is offered as part of SSJI’s commitment to supporting biodiversity in and preservation of the South Shore land and waters.


Monarch fifth instar on Butterfly weed
Millgrove Butterfly Farm (Photo: John F. Foster)


On June 23, 2023 SSJI will present the documentary film Beauty on the Wing with an introduction and question and answer period with filmmaker and producer Kim Smith. ( Registration for the film is at: Local schools have been offered the opportunity to screen the documentary in their classrooms or meeting spaces.


Monarch adult nectaring
Millgrove Butterfly Farm (Photo: John F. Foster)


Leading up to the screening special educational, curriculum-based materials are available to teachers. Outdoor educator, Cheryl Chapman has visited 10 local classes to talk about Monarchs and engage the students in Monarch themed exercises. Classes will be encouraged to complete Monarch quizzes and tasks. Every student has received a specially designed Monarch button.


Monarch chrysalis on Butterflyweed
Millgrove Butterfly Farm ( Photo: John F. Foster)

In keeping with the Monarch theme, the 2023 SSJI T-Shirt is emblazoned with Gerry Jenkison’s Monarch Life Cycle drawing. The T-shirts are available for sale online and at SSJI events.