How to Help Save the Monarchs

Why Do We Even Care About Monarchs?

How to Help Save the Monarchs | Vermont Woods Studios
If you visit us at Stonehurst you’ll notice our commitment to forest conservation. As wood furniture makers we’re mindful of our impact on nature. Since we all love monarchs (our state butterfly) we work to conserve their habitat both here in VT and in the Mexican forest where they over-winter (above). We’ve partnered with the non-profit, Forests for Monarchs FFM to plant trees & restore monarch habitat in Mexico. So far we’ve planted over 60,000 trees! Photo by Sue Sill.

Reforesting Monarch Habitat in MexicoHow to Help Save the Monarchs | Forests for Monarchs | Vermont Woods Studios

This is a mountain near where monarch butterflies from Vermont (and elsewhere) over-winter in Mexico. It was almost completely deforested. Our friend, Jose Luis Alvarez JLA (through his non-profit, Forests for Monarchs) has given thousands of trees to the local community in his quest to restore this and other forests. You can see he’s made great progress but there is still a lot of work to be done (the monarch population is down 90% due primarily to habitat loss).

Our Partnership with Forests for Monarchs & JLA

How to Help Save the Monarchs | Forests for Monarchs | Vermont Woods Studios
Although we support a handful of non-profits that plant trees, our favorite charity is Forests for Monarchs. The founder is pictured above (Jose Luis Alvarez JLA) along with Nina M (our Creative Director), Megan Fulton (FFM Executive Director FFM) and me. Through our partnership with FFM we plant 2 trees for every furniture order.

A Documentary Film About Forest Restoration

Jose Luis Alvarez, Max Stephan Faublas and Nina Markiw film documentary about monarchs
To help FFM raise awareness about how to help save the monarchs we’re working with Jose Luis’ family to film a documentary about his work.

A Patchwork of Restored Woodlands

Reforestation Site | How to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly
10 years ago, Jose Luis persuaded Francisco (above) to restore pine trees to a lot that had been destroyed. The result is this beautiful woodland where Francisco can harvest sustainably to support his family. FFM has helped hundreds of land owners and communities to reforest and the results are exciting.

Butterfly Tours for FFM Supporters

Monarch Butterfly Sign | El Rosario Sanctuary
Have you ever thought about going down to Mexico to see the monarch migration miracle for yourself? Are you interested to help save the monarchs from extinction? Consider taking a monarch tour or volunteering with Jose Luis and FFM. His tours are designed for people committed to forest & habitat restoration. A portion of the proceeds is used to plant trees.

Visit the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Oyamel Trees Laden with Millions of Monarchs
Millions of monarch butterflies are huddled in these oyamel trees, 10,000 ft up in the El Rosario Sanctuary. A monarch tour with Jose Luis puts you right in the middle of them. Amazing.

Ride a Horse Up the Mountain to El Rosario

Peggy Farabaugh | Riding Horses up to El Rosario
You can walk up to the top of El Rosario but it’s more fun to take a horse.

Enjoy Authentic Mexican Food

A Street Food Cook at El Rosario
Traveling with Jose Luis ensures you’ll find the best, most authentic food around. And it’s always served with a smile.
Nina, Megan and Jose Luis enjoying lunch in Michoacan
More yummy street food (and a cell signal).

Customize Your Tour

A View of the bay at Nina, Megan and Jose Luis enjoying lunch in Zihuatanejo
Interested in a side trip to the coast? Jose Luis also leads a sea turtle conservation project on the West Coast of Mexico near Ixtapa. It’s a nice way to round out your tour.

Support Forests for Monarchs FFM

Jose Luis Alvarez and his family work tirelessly to reforest these special woodlands in Mexico but they need our help.  The FFM tree nursery has capacity to supply 3 million trees/year for urgently needed forest restoration projects. But FFM must rely on volunteers and donations to fuel the nursery, as government support has waned. Please consider supporting FFM by donating or taking a monarch tour.

Arrange a Monarch Tour Today

Contact me in the comments section or on Facebook if you’re interested in visiting El Rosario and/or supporting Forests for Monarchs. Thanks for reading!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Peggy Farabaugh

Peggy Farabaugh

She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.