An Official Welcome to the Monarch Waystation Network
...And just in time for the Monarch Migration!
Hello! I hope each and every one of you have had a wonderful summer! As a former teacher, I completely understand the varied emotions you may be feeling here in mid-August, as a new school year is either underway or approaching:) And I also realize how incredibly busy you are!
I am writing to update you on the Monarch Waystation Network. After a fairly steep learning curve, I have gotten the website to the point I feel comfortable in launching it. Is it complete? No, but it was always intended to be an evolving process, a project that morphs as your needs dictate. To hopefully save you time in reading, I will list the main components of the website, along with any essential details or information.
Highlights and Essential Information:
- The url is www.monarchwatch.org/waystationnetwork (please help spread the word!)
- Main parts:
- FORUM- A place to share ideas, lessons, questions and pictures. A place to connect with educators and students. A place for inspiration! For confidentiality purposes and to maintain focus, this is set up as a private forum. You must register first (I’m sorry, one more username and password to remember...but it’s for a really great causeJ), and then wait for me to approve the registration. This will hopefully prevent scammers and forum trolls. The forum is the real backbone of this entire Waystation Network project, and the future of this project depends on the level of engagement and activity!
- CURRICULA- My job is not to design curricula, but to connect you to existing Monarch-related curricula. I have combed the internet and provided links to the “best” (I’m always open to suggestions). I am partnering with someone to align potential Waystation garden activities to the Next Generation Science Standards and to the Common Core Standards. This section of the website will certainly be evolving, and our hope is for lessons to be continually shared on the forum, and then I will transfer them to the website.
- GARDENING- Tips, information and resources to support the maintenance of your Waystation gardens. This will be broken into parts, such as Milkweed, Common Waystation Plants, Garden Maintenance, etc.
- INSECTS- A place to learn more about Monarchs and other insects visiting your Waystation gardens.
- OUTREACH- An interactive map showing the general locations of all the certified Waystation gardens, a link to a great selection of free PDF downloads, and tips for involving colleagues, administrators and/or community members in our garden.
- Short-term goal- Teachers, students and nonprofit professionals will register on the forum and generate discussions and connectivity, by posting pictures, asking questions, sharing lessons or merely stating what you are currently observing in your Waystation.
- Long-term goal- To facilitate a unique, sustainable, interactive network for teachers, students and nonprofit professionals to help conserve the Monarchs and their migration by exposing youth to meaningful educational opportunities through self-instruction (i.e. we want to encourage your students to ask questions and seek the answers).
Our intent is not to provide all the answers, but to guide the learner in her/his self-directed educational adventures!
Please help this interactive project get off the ground by taking a minute to register on the forum and let everyone know what you are currently observing in your Waystation gardens!
***I am extremely excited to work with each of you and to support you and your students this year***