The Spring Creek Educational Society (SCES), formed in 2013, is a non-profit organization based out of Texas. In 2019, they joined forces with the Monarch Project Educational Initiative (MPEI). The mission of SCES is to “support educational opportunities for a broad spectrum of learners, youth and adult, to better understand how natural resources of the region surrounding Spring Creek can be conserved, improved and protected” (https://springcreekeducationsociety.org/about-sces). MPEI is the educational and outreach program of SCES that hopes to “inspire students and the public to be passionate about science and active participants in their world and in their communities” (https://www.monarchpei.org/about). SCES and MPEI contribute to monarch conservation, education, and research through many avenues.
They have managed many projects pertaining to monarch habitat development, restoration, and advocacy. SCES has been working to restore the Spring Creek Greenway, an 18 mile long stretch in Harris County. They work with volunteers to plant native milkweed, nectar plants, and trees. The Dennis Johnston Park, located along the Spring Creek Greenway, has a Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden created and maintained by SCES. This park is a certified Monarch Waystation and is used for education and outreach initiatives for the public. The bi-annual Spring and Fall Monarch Migration events are hosted here by the MPEI and serve as large outreach and education events for the public. At those events, SCES/MPEI advocate for citizen science participation, including how to tag monarchs and test for OE, native planting, and monarch and pollinator conservation. Besides the Spring Creek Greenway, SCES works to create more monarch habitats by assisting locals and businesses in planting monarch gardens.
MPEI has many educational programs regarding monarch conservation, K-12 educational programs, full-year and summer student internship programs for youth in grades 9-12 to get involved in field and lab research regarding monarchs, as well as scholarship funds for both students and teachers. The MPEI Monarch Butterfly Research and Conservation Citizen Science Group takes data on monarchs and submits their findings to many projects, including the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, Monarch Health, Monarch Watch, and Journey North. They also work with boy and girl scouts for various awards programs, where they emphasize education on environmental conservation topics, such as sustainability, ecology, and hydrology. MPEI works with teachers and leaders in the field to create and disseminate lesson plans on environmental topics and monarch conservation.
MJV is excited to partner with SCES to further monarch conservation initiatives in a major monarch flyway zone!
The Monarch Joint Venture is a national partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses and academic programs working together to conserve the monarch butterfly migration. The content in this article does not necessarily reflect the positions of all Monarch Joint Venture partners.