Vermont Wood Studios owner leads multinational effort to save Monarch butterflies
August 21, 2016 | 11:22 am CDT
VERNON, Vt. - Vermont Wood Studios owner, Peggy Farabaugh, says she has partnered with two business owners in Mexico and Canada, to help save the habitat of the Monarch butterfly.
The tour is aimed at raising awareness of the endangered Monarch, an important agricultural pollinator whose population is in decline due to habitat destruction within the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The second purpose is to conserve and increase the acreage of the monarch butterfly habitat across North America.has partnered with Canadian businessman Francois Simard and Mexican expert silviculturist, Jose Luis Alvarez to save the monarchs.
Francois Simard and Peggy Farabaugh
In June of this year, President Obama met with Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss climate change and how the three countries can save important pollinators from extinction. The trio of business owners had for years prior to meeting been working individually with different methods to save the species and restore its habitat.
Farabaugh and Vermont Wood Studios are sponsoring a Save the Monarchs Tour throughout the Northeast, beginning August 25 with an event at Vermont Woods Studios in Vernon, Vermont, then moving to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (8/26), Museum of Science, Boston (8/27), Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (8/28), ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington, VT (8/30), Marsh Botanical Garden at Yale University (8/31), Audubon Greenwich (9/1) and the Philadelphia Zoo (9/2).
Farabaugh started her online business selling sustainable, Vermont-made wood furniture in 2005. Vermont Woods Studios is a mission oriented company with forest conservation at its heart. Learning that the monarch's winter forest habitat had shrunk by 90 percent she decided to put the business's resources to work helping with reforestation. That was the beginning of her partnership with Alvarez and Simard.
Jose Luis Alvarez (shown) has spent a lifetime planting trees and reforesting the monarch butterfly's mountain habitat in Michoacan, Mexico. In 1997 he created Forests For Monarchs (FFM), a non-profit business with the goal of planting millions of trees to restore the monarch habitat. While combating illegal logging, climate change and freak snowstorms, FFM has planted over 6 million trees and is eager to plant more.
Francois Simard is a chemical engineer from Granby, Quebec, who created a small business to develop technologies to use milkweed fibers (the only plant monarch caterpillars eat) for insulated clothing (i.e. down parkas) and for oil spill cleanup products. Francois is looking for farmers in Canada and Vermont to plant milkweed commercially so he can purchase it as raw material.
Simard will be joining Peggy and Jose for the Burlington, Vermont event. Alvarez and Farabaugh will discuss monarch evolution, migration, discovery of over-wintering grounds, population changes, deforestation/reforestation, U.S. habitat issues, threats and future predictions at the events. www.vermontwoodsstudios.com
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.