Genevieve’s hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA is a critical migratory route that also provides overwintering sites for the beautiful Western Migratory Monarch butterflies. After learning that these delicate creatures are threatened by extinction, Genevieve decided to start Milkweed for Monarchs, a movement that focuses on the planting and nurturing of milkweed plants — monarchs’ sole food source during their caterpillar phase.

In addition to growing her own milkweed from seed, she also convinced the mayor of SLO, Heidi Harmon, to involve the city in monarch conservation. With the help of the city biologist, Freddy Otte, she was able to plant native milkweed throughout her hometown.

Known as “The Butterfly Girl,” Genevieve continues to conduct research as a citizen scientist for Monarch Alert, a program of Cal Poly University. She recently relocated to Western Quebec, where she is establishing a plan to help with Eastern Migratory Monarch butterfly conservation.

Genevieve was a 2018 Barron Prize winner.

Discussion Questions

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IYH Behind the Scenes

We filmed Genevieve’s story in the spring in San Luis Obispo, home to Cal Poly, and – more importantly – the over-winter habitat of the majestic monarch butterfly.