RESTON, Va., April 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Wildlife Federation and its beloved wildlife ambassador Ranger Rick invite you to join the more than 50,000 people who have already pledged to protect and preserve America's precious — and declining — monarch butterfly and pollinator populations with the 2017 Butterfly Heroes™ campaign. Now in its third year, Butterfly Heroes™ provides kids and families with the inspiration and tools to work together, to enjoy nature, and to make a difference starting in their own backyards. With the support of Disney Conservation Fund and Botanical Interests, Inc., the National Wildlife Federation's Butterfly Heroes™ campaign equips those who pledge with the resources they need to plant and maintain a regionally-specific garden that provides food sources and habitats for monarchs, other butterflies, and pollinators at home, at school, or within their communities.
"At our core, the National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering a deep appreciation and passion for wildlife and our incredible outdoor world," said Collin O'Mara, President and CEO, the National Wildlife Federation. "We believe that immersion leads to action - and that by introducing hundreds of thousands of American children to the monarch butterfly's mind-blowing metamorphosis we will inspire a generation of conservationists to act. This year's Butterfly Heroes™ program builds off the program's first two successful years and will serve as a 'gateway to green-time', providing classrooms, individuals and families with a reason and the resources to spend more time in nature."
Pledge to be a Butterfly Hero by simply uploading a photo of yourself making the American Sign Language hand symbol of a butterfly by June 1, 2017, and you will be entered into a contest to receive a Ranger Rick Garden Habitat Fun Pack and $500.00 gift card. The fun pack includes the Ranger Rick Amazing Butterflies book (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) and a new Ranger Rick CD featuring "The Monarch Song" from the award-winning children's band, The WhizPops. In addition to books and music, more Butterfly Heroes™ products are available on Zazzle.com!
All pledged participants who share photos of their Butterfly Heroes™ planting and outdoor activity by September 30, 2017 will also be entered into the Grand Prize sweepstakes to win a family trip for four to the 2018 Epcot© International Flower & Garden Festival at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
The Federation has a longstanding commitment to bringing back America's monarch butterfly population, which has declined by 90% in the past 20 years. It supports the nationwide Mayors' Monarch Pledge, which has so far recruited 300 cities, counties, and towns in the monarch flyway to create more habitat and educate their residents. It also supported the designation of Interstate 35 as a monarch highway. The Butterfly Heroes™ program helps individuals take critical steps to provide specialized food and shelter plants for the beautiful monarch.
The Butterfly Heroes™ campaign has already inspired thousands of people to plant habitats across the U.S. to support and help bring back the threatened monarch butterfly. Milkweed is the only plant on which monarch butterflies lay their eggs and that their caterpillars eat, but monarch habitats of milkweed and nutrient-providing nectar plants have disappeared due to urban development, farming, and use of pesticides. This habitat also supports declining pollinator populations that are essential in the production of 1 out of 3 bites of food we eat.
In addition to his work as a Butterfly Heroes™ ambassador, Ranger Rick raccoon is turning 50 this year. Having introduced millions of children and their families to the wonders of wildlife and nature through the award-winning Ranger Rick magazine since 1967, the National Wildlife Federation is celebrating this milestone year with a special collector's edition of the iconic magazine (now available on newsstands), and the launch of Ranger Rick Cub for toddlers aged 0-4 years old, as well as many exciting new products, books, and educational resources. The magazines also feature fresh new looks for Ranger Rick and all of his animal friends compliments of Emmy-nominated art director and illustrator Parker Jacobs, best known for his work on the hit children's television series Yo Gabba Gabba!
To learn more about The National Wildlife Federation and Ranger Rick, please visit www.nwf.org.
To learn more about Botanical Interests, Inc., please visit www.botanicalinterests.com.
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SOURCE National Wildlife Federation