Tena koutou, I am honoured & humbled to be a recipient of the beautiful Civic Award for services to Environment & Education, for the work that I do on behalf of the Monarch Butterflies here in New Zealand. The Christchurch Civic Award is a pretty major recognition to receive, past winners are people that have given over 30 years back into their community. I feel so stoked to get even nominated for the Environment Education sector alongside so many deserving hard-working people in my community.

There are so many reasons why I do this work. I feel this is one of my callings and I love that I get to inspire and teach so many people. I love teaching adults and children and my monarch family via social media, in person at garden clubs & schools around the country. Being in nature is healing and time just disappears when you are surrounded by it in your own back garden. Raising monarch butterflies is just so rewarding, you get to be part of this magical transformation within nature, you end up sharing your caterpillars and your stories with your friends and family that come round, this soon becomes the butterfly effect and your friends see how happy you are, and they end up purchasing a plant and raising monarchs too. Monarch butterflies are a doorway to nature and so many other in biosystems here on earth. Mother Earth has been over-extracted and her resources have been taken for granted, it’s time that everyone becomes conscious about their environment and helps by giving back, we must care by doing any little thing that can help return the planet back to health.

Raising awareness is important for these magical creatures that are in decline. Especially in other countries where illegal logging is taking place and Monarchs are losing their habitats, plus the overuse of pesticides that kill our insects. If we want them to be part of our World for years to come, we need to act as a collective. As I’m writing this blog it gives me so much joy to look out of my window and see bright orange Monarchs flutter and chase each other in my garden, this brings me instant joy.

I received my award last December 2020 and got to celebrate and be recognized for my hard work over the last 7 years. I feel this is the only beginning for me, there’s so much potential & opportunities out there. Furthermore, I will keep on transforming and saying yes to new opportunities. Yes, I get crazy ideas like planting 10,000 swan plants in a space of 6 weeks with 130 schools. As I was fed up with teachers and monarch lovers spending heaps on plants, without even thinking how the logistics will work and minimal planning and I look back in retrospect, and they far many swan plants around now than when I started years ago no more searching for plants during peak season.

The seed has been down so to speak!! As so many people have come on board and sow from seed, that we now have an abundance of monarchs in our environment. There’s still so much education and awareness to be shared with the use of pesticides, and predators. The best thing is the life cycle teaches us to be present and that we are part of nature, and we need to restore the plant that has been ripped apart from greed. It’s time to give back and care for all the insects and plants nectar flowers for the bees and butterflies. I feel so blessed to each and another one of you that has helped me on my path, who help me get into schools, inspire me, and you’re touching personal messages. You are my Monarch, whanua!

Here are the other award recipients you can read all about them in the link you will be so inspired by these wonderful people.


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