Pat Miller, also known as “the Butterfly Lady,” paid a visit to Belle Aire School in Downers Grove on Sept. 14 to share her expertise with kindergarten through third-grade students.
Miller, whose visit was funded by the Belle Aire PTA, became interested in monarchs and monarch conservation while presenting talks on butterfly gardening for the University of Illinois Extension office as a Master Gardener. Her good friend, Jane, met Chip Taylor the year he launched the Monarch Waystation program and became interested in promoting the concept of monarch waystations.
Jane and Pat traveled throughout the western Chicago area promoting monarch waystations. Following a trip to Mexico with Monarchs Across Georgia, Pat's interest in monarchs blossomed into a program for school children, libraries and garden clubs.
Pat's love of nature led her into education through her work as a Master Gardener, Master Naturalist and Plant Technician for the Morton Arboretum. She presents programs to schools, libraries, garden and environmental clubs throughout the Chicago area.
In 2008, Pat presented monarch programs to more than 1,000 students and 500 adults—a number she hopes will grow every year. She continues to share her love of monarchs with everyone she meets.
Pat is also involved in raising and tagging hundreds of monarchs, and hopes to find even more ways to educate others in the coming years through the Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist role.
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