The Monarch Butterfly Project


Green Club leaders discussing plans for their next meeting. Photo by Emily Walugembe

No butterfly’s wings are as captivating as the Monarch’s. Bright orange spreads from one wing to the other outlined by a dark black that is decorated with white spots. The Monarch differs from other butterflies in many ways, and one of its most fascinating attributes is how it symbolizes transformation and rebirth.

At Mercy, all students are encouraged to help make the world a better place, which is why the Green Club will be a part of the Monarch Milkweed project next semester in order to bring awareness to the decline of the Monarch’s population.

“[Monarchs] are vital to the ecosystem, and as [ecosystems disappear] it’s important we play our part to keep the world around for the next generation,” said senior Grace Seefelt, a Green Club leader.

According to an article by the University of Minnesota, Monarchs evolved more than 60 million years ago, and have been sustaining our ecosystem by producing natural resources through the pollination of plants and providing food for many animals. Unfortunately, the Monarch’s population has declined 90 percent since the nineties.

“We don’t realize the impact of one animal potentially going extinct or becoming endangered,” said Green Club moderator Dr. Kristine Daley,

Green Club decided to participate in the project because it will make students more aware of the environment, which is one of the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy. Club and other clubs will be creating a habitat for butterflies. Students will gather to plant nectar plants, flowers, and milkweeds. These plants will provide Monarchs with enough energy to migrate and stay alive throughout their journey.

“We have the opportunity to maintain a butterfly make a positive change,” said Dr. Daley.