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My name is Kevin O'Toole, and I'm a biology teacher at the Morton Freshman Center in Cicero, Illinois. As you may know, the monarch butterfly populations east of the Rocky Mountains have declined by roughly 90% in the last 20 years due to climate change, habitat loss, and the use of herbicides on GMO crops, which has caused a major decline to their host plant; milkweed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife equates this loss to about 970 million butterflies in that span, and this population will go extinct if this trend continues. So this year I designed a new human impact based curriculum that is centered around what is called the Student Citizen Scientist Monarch Butterfly Ecological Engineering Project. The goal of this year long project is for students to research, design, and build a 5,000 square foot Monarch Waystation to increase the habitat needs for monarchs. Currently we are seeking community partners in many different ways to make this project a reality. Please review the form below and select what you are willing to do for this project. Thank you!

Date and Time: The event will begin at 9:00 in the morning on April 28th, 2018 as part of our annual Earth Day celebration at the Morton Freshman Center. Special activities for kids will go until 12:00 PM. We will continue to work all afternoon so if you can't make it in the morning, you can still come help in the afternoon.

What to expect: There will be stations set up and small group projects based on the checklist below so volunteers can choose how they would like to help. For example, one station will be for assembling wooden benches. One example project will be making a dry creek bed. Students will be guiding people as well.

This day is may or may not be a planting day depending on the weather outlook.

Location: 1801 south 55th Ave, Cicero, IL 60804

Follow updates on the project on Twitter: @bio_otoole

Contact me by email:

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The garden will be built in this area located on the north side of the Morton Freshman Center. Parking is located west of the building.
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