About the Symbolic Migration

Welcome to the 25th Anniversary of the Symbolic Migration Project

You are invited to participate in the 25th annual Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration Project with youth from across North America.

The annual migration of millions of monarchs across North America is among the world’s most spectacular natural events. Countries across North American must cooperate to protect the monarch butterfly. Through the Symbolic Migration Project, participating students learn authentic lessons of conservation and international cooperation by decorating paper cutout Symbolic Ambassador Monarchs that are then mailed and distributed to students who attend schools near the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico.

Over 25,000 students in the United States and Canada will create symbolic butterflies this fall and send them to Mexico for the winter. At the monarch sanctuaries in Mexico, youth will protect the butterflies and send them north in the spring. The symbolic butterflies build bridges of communication between students in Mexico, the United States, and Canada. United by the monarch butterfly, children across North America learn authentic lessons of conservation, cooperation, and ambassadorship. Join with hundreds of other students from across the U.S. and Mexico to celebrate the international migration of the monarch butterfly.

The Symbolic Migration project is a partnership project between Journey North, a program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, and Monarchs Across Georgia, a committee of The Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, a 501(c)(3) organization. Journey North manages the interactive Symbolic Migration Participant Maps and hosts all educational materials on the Journey North website. Monarchs Across Georgia administers the program and is responsible for all fundraising.  

Below are abbreviated steps on how to participate. Please refer to the complete Teachers Instructional Packet for in-depth instructions [coming soon]. The check-list and timeline are available also.  

Step 1: Purchase Your Passenger Ticket

To cover the costs of this important educational project, participants must buy a $10 “Passenger Ticket” for each Class Ambassador Butterfly packet submitted. These funds will support school visits in Mexico to deliver butterflies and provide conservation education. Purchases are made through our secure website at this link (you will be taken to the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia website—active link coming soon) with credit/debit cards (Discover, Mastercard or Visa) or mailed checks (USA banks only). A PayPal option is also available.

Step 2: Follow the Checklist

Follow this step-by-step checklist. Use it as your check-off guide.

Step 3: Make Class Ambassador Butterfly and Enclosures

Students will collaborate to make a Class Butterfly that will travel to Mexico as an ambassador to represent your class. Complete a “Hello Friends/Hola Amigos” letter. Each student will create a life-sized monarch. A class photo or letter is optional.

Step 4: Photograph, Label, Save, and Share Your Folder on Google Drive

Photograph or scan your Class Ambassador Butterfly, each life-sized butterfly, the completed “Hello Friends/Hola Amigos” letter, your Passenger Ticket receipt, and class photo or letter (optional). Label them according to the directions in the pdf of these instructions and save them to a labeled folder on Google Drive.

Share that folder with symbolic-migration@eealliance.org no later than October 9, 2020. Please don’t wait until the last minute. Technology will fail you!

Step 5: Report to the Fall Symbolic Migration Participant Map

To locate your school on the Journey North Fall Symbolic Migration Map, you need to first register with Journey North. After registration you can then log into the sightings page on the Journey North website and choose Symbolic Monarch Participant in the drop-down menu on the bottom left side of the page. A reporting page will then come up where you can locate your school on the map, enter the date when Symbolic Monarchs were sent, upload a photo, and make comments. Full instructions can be found here.

Be sure to include the teacher’s name, school, town, state/province in the “Comments” section.

Submission Deadline: October 9, 2020

News Fall 2020

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