Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour” event on Saturday, September 24th was a wonderful success. The Monarch Mariposa Boxcar, a custom designed boxcar that celebrates and raises awareness of the journey of the monarch butterfly, had traveled the path of the monarchs from Windsor, Ontario, and was on the rails beside Union Station.(see photo of Nick Pryor and the boxcar)
Through the sun filled day, over a thousand visitors wandered through the 15 exhibitors sampling their informational literature, receiving free packets of seeds, and watching the release of monarchs (see photo of Jan Armstrong with a monarch butterfly). In the Suburban Lawn & Garden exhibit, visitors could learn about pollinator gardens and buy many types of plants. Volunteers in the Club 13 exhibit gave away hundreds of butterfly bags to children and sold dozens of Monarch baseball hats (see photo of volunteers Diane Scott and Mary Kingsley with children the butterfly bags). The KC Library Bookmobile and a couple of food trucks circled the Haverty Yards.
On stage, President Eric Bubb was the MC for the Opening Ceremony which began with the US and Mexican national anthems and was followed by remarks from and Greg Shelton CO-Chair of the Prairie Village Environmental Committee, The Honorable Head Consul of Mexico Padilla Mayer, Chair of Morella/Kansas City Sister City Committee Gloria Bessenbacher, David Eaton Rotarian of Monterey Mexico, and Rotary International Director Elizabeth Usovicz. The Ceremony ended with the song Dos Arbolitos (The Little Trees) by Nina Rodriguez.
Through the day, on stage were the Mariachi Fuego Band led by Stephen Reyes, the Folkorico Dance Group Led by Rose Marie Mendez and songs and dance by Nina Rodrigues. A highlight of the day was the Operation Pollination Signing by the District Governors of Districts 6040, 6060, 6080 and 5710 (see photo). 
Thank you to the event Co-Chairs Jan Armstrong and Nick Pryor and the support by President Eric for the planning and implementation of a successful event! Thank you to the more than 20 Rotary volunteers who wore the monarch T shirts made the event go so smoothly. A special thanks to Lainie & Steve Wilbur who designed and provided the awesome monarch T shirts, the butterfly bags and the decorative table coverings used for the Pollination Signing. Corporate partners whose support made the event possible include Kansas City Southern, the Kansas City Zoo, Union Station, the Missouri Department of Conservation and Roesline Alternative Energy.
Click here to view a large Gallery of Photos of the event.