This is a District wide project that also has international connections called the Monarch Butterfly BoxCar Project, combining 3 railway companies Canadian Pacific and Kansas City South and JaTex, a Chicago company with a Pollinator Awareness program and raising money for trees in Mexico that the monarch butterflies nest in.
I chose Agriculture because pollinators are key to our food! There was not an environmental choice besides the area of focus.
The grant money will be used for all aspects of the program as needed to raise awareness. The BoxCar, painted with Monarch Butterflies will travel from Jennifer Jones' town of Windsor, Canada through 7 Rotarian cities in the US on its way to Michoacan, Mexico. It will pass through Chicago on September 11 and Rotarians will participate in the Little Village Parade and then the Grito de Independiencia Sept 15 at a park in Franklin Park (the BoxCar will be in Bensenville and can be brought to the Frankin Park park.
There will also be an event at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with Jennifer Jones in September focusing on this. The project is large and this grant money will be used for the Sept. 11 events related to Little Village.
The Little Village Club has many connections with community organizations that have pollinator gardens or projects with monarch butterflies. Our own pollinator garden is one.
We expect the money to be used for parade related items: handouts for children, collateral explaining the project and to fundraise.
Most of the money for the other parts of the project ($120,000 budgeted) has been raised: $85,000 to $95,000. We will see if we can raise $10,000 more from the community.
We have plans to begin an interact club at Benito Juarez High School, where one of our members, Len Dominguez was principal some years ago. The current principal has said yes. New District Ade Onayemi wants to involve the interact clubs with Canadian and Mexican Clubs. We also have connections with the Monterrey Metropolitan Club and the Puebla Club.
We will also involve the National Park Service through Chris Stein. Manon Crowly is directing that part. Other Rotary Clubs will be involved too: Naperville via Pat Merryweather who invited us to be a part of this project.
The timeline for the project is July - Nov. 2 when the boxcar will be delivered to Michoacan. We will probably do some updates after that. There will be lots of opportunities for social media, media and community involvement.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
Our project's focus was to increase awareness of Rotary & we went on Channel 9 TV to talk about this Boxcar project and our club. It was also to increase awareness of and active participation in creating pollinator gardens to increase Monarch Butterfly and other pollinator habitat. Our focus was not to raise funds as the Kansas City South Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway were already raising money and they did raise $120,000.