The Symbolic Migration Project



The annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies across North America is among the world’s most spectacular natural events. Facing declines in monarchs' eastern and western populations, governments, non-profit organizations, community groups, and countless individuals throughout Mexico, the United States, and Canada are cooperating to protect the monarch butterfly.

Through the Symbolic Migration Project, youth can also participate in monarch conservation and protection. Youth decorate paper Symbolic Ambassador Monarch Butterflies that are mailed and distributed to schools near the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Central Mexico. These symbolic butterflies build bridges of communication among participants in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. United by the monarch butterfly, youth celebrate and pledge to protect monarchs and their extraordinary migration.

Important Deadlines

Registration is now CLOSED for the academic year (2023-2024). 

Learning Resources

Educators can access lessons and activities that engage youth in monarch biology and conservation.

Follow along by reading news updates and Ms. Estela Romero's blog posts. Ambassador butterflies will be delivered during the winter months until the end of February 2024. 

The Symbolic Monarch Migration is a project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum) and Monarchs Across Georgia (a committee of the nonprofit organization, the Environmental Education Alliance). Journey North manages the interactive Symbolic Monarch Migration Participant Maps and hosts educational materials on its website. Monarchs Across Georgia administers the project including coordinating the exchange of symbolic butterflies among 2000+ classrooms in three countries, engaging a contract worker to provide lessons and deliver materials in Mexico, and raising funds for the project’s continuation.

Consider a donation to the Symbolic Monarch Migration and/or the Mexico Book Project.  

The Monarch Butterfly Fund supports, through their Small Grant Program, our “Beyond the Mexico Book Project” providing funding for books and environmental education efforts in the schools surrounding the Mexican monarch sanctuaries.

News Spring 2024

Watch the season’s story unfold.