Monarch Butterfly Tagging…I Missed It This Year

After our move, a citizen science activity gets temporarily shelved.

A monarch butterfly with a tag on the hindwing, coded within formation to track its migration
Tagged Monarch before release. © Carol Labuzzetta.

After spending years learning about monarchs, starting in 2000, I began teaching the subject matter that involved their life cycle, habitat creation, restoration, and conservation. I started teaching the awe-inspiring and life-changing metaphorosis and miraculous migration of the monarch butterfly to my garden club students in 2006. By 2008, we had a certified way station on our school grounds. They were hooked and so was I.

pink coneflower and pink zinnia offer nectar for adult monarchs with a garden sign designating the area as a certified habitat for monarchs during migration
Monarch waystation at our elementary school. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2010.

I created a habitat in two yards, with several types of milkweed and nectar plants for the adults. The students helped create a habitat for the monarchs on school grounds. My husband and I, along with a few supportive friends maintained that space for the following decade. At times, it wasn’t easy. But, we persevered.

small monarch caterpillar on green milkweed leaf
Monarch larva (caterpillar) on a milkweed leaf. © Carol Labuzzetta, 2021

Soon, I started teaching the material to community groups including fellow master gardeners at locally and at two conferences, one…



Carol Labuzzetta, MS Natural Resources, MS Nursing

Environmental educator with a passion for teaching youth using the science of awe. Traveler, Photographer, Author, Wife, Mother. Boosted Writer x 10