National Wildlife Federation Announces 2017 “Butterfly Heroes” Initiative

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Provided by National Wildlife Foundation

Photo credit: National Wildlife Foundation

The National Wildlife Federation today announced the 2017 launch of Butterfly Heroes™, its annual campaign to protect and preserve America’s precious — and declining — monarch butterfly and pollinator populations. Now in its third year, Butterfly Heroes™ provides kids and families the inspiration and tools to work together, to enjoy nature and to make a difference. The Disney Conservation Fund and Botanical Interests, Inc. return for a third consecutive year as supporters. They enable the National Wildlife Federation to distribute Butterfly Heroes™ Garden Starter kits to the first 45,000 people who pledge to plant a garden that provides food sources and habitats for monarchs, other butterflies and pollinators at home, at school or within their communities.

“At our core, the National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering a deep appreciation and passion for wildlife and our incredible outdoor world,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, the National Wildlife Federation. “We believe that immersion leads to action – and that by introducing hundreds of thousands of American children to the monarch butterfly’s mind-blowing metamorphosis we can inspire a generation of conservationists to act. This year’s Butterfly Heroes™ program builds off the program’s first two successful years and will serve as a ‘gateway to green-time’, providing classrooms, individuals and families with a reason and the resources to spend more time in nature.”

Beginning Monday, March 27, Butterfly Heroes™ Garden Starter kits will be sent to those who make the pledge by uploading a photo of themselves making the American Sign Language hand symbol of a butterfly. Each kit contains regionally-appropriate native seed packets provided by Botanical Interests, Inc. and a step-by-step guide to building your very own butterfly garden. All those who pledge by June 1, 2017 will be entered into a contest to receive a Ranger Rick Garden Habitat Fun Pack and $500.00 gift card. With the National Wildlife Federation’s wildlife ambassador Ranger Rick featured heavily in the 2017 program, the fun pack will include the Ranger Rick Amazing Butterflies book (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and a new Ranger Rick CD featuring “The Monarch Song” from the award-winning children’s band, The WhizPops. In addition to books and music, more Butterfly Hero products can be found on Zazzle.com.

All pledged participants who share photos of their Butterfly Heroes planting and outdoor activity by September 30, 2017 will also be entered into the Grand Prize sweepstakes to Win a Family Trip for Four to the 2018 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival at the Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The Federation has a longstanding commitment to bringing back America’s monarch butterfly population which has declined by 95% in the past 20 years. It supports the nationwide Mayors’ Monarch Pledge which has so far recruited 300 cities, counties and towns in the monarch flyway to create more habitat and educate their residents, and has supported the designation of Interstate 35 as a monarch highway. The Butterfly Heroes™ program helps individuals take critical steps to provide specialized food and shelter plants for the beautiful monarch.

In addition to his work as a Butterfly Heroes™ ambassador, Ranger Rick raccoon is turning 50 this year. Having introduced millions of children and their families to the wonders of wildlife and nature through the award-winning Ranger Rick magazine since 1967, the National Wildlife Federation is celebrating this milestone year with a special collector’s edition of the iconic magazine (now available on newsstands) and the launch of Ranger Rick Cub for toddlers aged 0-4 years old, exciting new products, books, and educational resources. The magazines also feature fresh new looks for Ranger Rick and all of his animal friends compliments of Emmy-nominated art director and illustrator Parker Jacobs, best known for his work on the hit children’s television series Yo Gabba!

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization, uniting all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
To learn more about The National Wildlife Federation and Ranger Rick, please go to nwf.org.

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