International Monarch Symposium on the Silk of America

monarch symposium

Join us in Montreal for a discussion on Monarchs, Milkweed and Where we go from here.

Our friend, Francois Simard of Encore 3, is hosting the first ever International Monarch Symposium on the Silk of America. Silk of America? Yes, that’s the new and improved name for milkweed! The symposium will focus on the topic of monarch butterfly habitat conservation in the USA and Canada.

Last year we invited Francois to join us us at one of our Save the Monarchs events. There he met our friend Jose Luis Alvarez who founded LCHPP - Forests For Monarchs, a non-profit that restores monarch habitat in Mexico. Francois invited Jose Luis to be a guest speaker at his symposium and we volunteered to sponsor the trip.
monarch symposium Jose Luis at our kickoff event this past summer for our Save the Monarchs Tour
The monarch symposium will focus on milkweed production, milkweed as a cash crop and safe habitat for monarchs. The goal is to expand attendees knowledge of milkweed and it’s many facets. It will allow farmers, entrepreneurs and enthusiastic guests to learn more about each other’s work and how to promote the growth of milkweed.
If you’re new to our blog, you may be wondering how a small, Vermont furniture store got involved with the symposium. Well, we were founded on the belief that businesses have the responsibility to make the world a better place. Our primary focus is forest conservation but many of us have been studying monarch butterflies since we were in kindergarten. We plant milkweed habitat here in Vermont but we know that if the species is to survive, there must also be restoration of the monarch’s forested winter habitat in Mexico.
monarch symposium Here I am planting milkweed seedlings in our pollinator garden at Vermont Woods Studios
If our prettiest of pollinators is in danger, what does that mean for our very important and undervalued “invisible” pollinators.
Here at our Vernon, Vermont Showroom we plant milkweed throughout our meadow and promote the natural growth and treatment of milkweed with our neighbors.
We partnered with Jose Luis and Forests For Monarchs in 2016 as a way to help restore both summer and winter habitat for this iconic pollinator. To our happy surprise, a lot of other people care about monarchs and all pollinators, too!
monarch symposium From Left to Right: VWS Founder Peggy Farabaugh, John Hayden of the Farm Between, a friend, Jose Luis Alvarez of Forests For Monarchs, Francois Simard or Encore 3, two milkweed farmers and Dave Allard in the back-a commercial milkweed grower for Francois.
We’d love to see you in Becancour, Quebec, but if you can’t make it, Peggy will have a full recap of this first ever International Monarch Symposium and will share any exciting news. As we head into the thick of winter, be on the lookout for more monarch related news as we gear up for the Spring!
We hope this symposium and the work of those attending continues and helps increase awareness on a global level of the importance of environmental conservation. Because, as Albert Einstein is (unofficially) quoted as saying, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” And, whether that’s true or not, why risk it?
Learn more about our Monarch Conservation here.

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Megan Fulton

Executive Director at Forests for Monarchs

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