Hope Floats on the Wings of a Butterfly

by | Feb 4, 2022 | Heartivist Of The Week

Perhaps it was witnessing her mother’s commitment to environmental politics and the work she did for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s Solar Committee in the 1970’s that inspired her. Or it might have been her own personal experience of saving a chrysalis – the hard shell that allows caterpillars to transform into breathtaking butterflies – that ignited the spark; no one knows for certain where the inspiration came from. However, what is known is that Janin Paine was so moved by the plight of the Western Monarch that she made an unwavering commitment to nurturing and supporting the gorgeous orange-and-black winged butterflies and it’s having a powerful impact.  

After buying property with her boyfriend in the foothills of San Luis Obispo County in California, Janin read that Western Monarch butterflies were disappearing at an alarming rate. Within the California coastal regions, their numbers had declined from 200,000 to 2,000 in only a few years and were in danger of extinction. One of the ideas to help increase the population was habitat restoration. 

When Janin learned that monarchs head to the California Coast for a little beach time in the winter and to the mountains for some rest and relaxation in the summer, she realized that her property was along their migratory route and might offer some help. So, she reached out to The Xerces Society, an international science-based nonprofit organization focused on protecting the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.

A biologist from The Xerces Society approved a grant for 85 plants suited for both Janin’s land and pollinators and the Habitatz – Millions of Monarchs project sprung to life. What began with a creation by Janin, her sister-in-law and her niece known as the “Monarch Hotel”, a sweetly decorated box with a few strings that provided safety for monarch chrysalis, had grown into a project that enlisted the support of numerous, amazing volunteers. Together, they prepared the land and planted various plants such as milkweed – known to hold a special place in the monarch’s heart.

When Janin found The Pollination Project, she initially thought it was an organization focused on pollinators such as bees, butterflies, etc. However, she was thrilled to learn that while our pollination focus was slightly different, we created opportunities to pollinate the dreams of changemakers like her.

“I was so excited. It was a wonderful surprise to receive the Pollination Project grant. It allowed us to pay for an irrigation system. It was great. I’ve even told my friends about you,” Janin said.

Since the start of this project, she’s received requests from people looking for advice on planting gardens and much more. As the monarch preserve continues to flourish, Janin finds herself feeling more hopeful about the monarchs and is driven to create a space for the community to learn about monarch conservation.

Just as Janin once wondered about the origin of her passionate dedication to these butterflies, so, too, did her son. Recently, he asked, “So what’s with you and the monarchs?” To which she smartly replied,“Monarchs are the gateway to environmentalism.” For Janin and the Habitatz – Millions of Monarchs project, stepping through that gateway was the first step toward building a beautiful, expansive, and more hopeful future.


Call for our Spanish speaking followers 👇

🐮🐷🐔🐣 ¡Te invitamos a unirte a la octava edición del Retiro de Meditación para Activistas por los Animales! 🧘🏻‍♀️ Este evento gratuito, dirigido a activistas hispanohablantes, se llevará a cabo los días 4 y 5 de mayo de 2024 a través de Zoom, y estará guiado por nuestro facilitador, Tashi Nyima.

❔ ¿Por qué participar? Sabemos que muchos activistas por los animales enfrentan desafíos emocionales que pueden afectar su capacidad para seguir adelante. 📣🆘

✅ En este retiro, aprenderás valiosas estrategias de autocuidado para fortalecer tu mundo interior y hacer que tu activismo sea más compasivo y efectivo. 🫶🏼✊🏼

INSCRIPCIONES GRATUITAS EN: https://lu.ma/retiromayo2024 

¡Ayúdanos a difundir esta invitación entre tus contactos comprometidos con la causa! 🌱💚

#activistas #animalistas #meditacion #derechosanimales #animalrights #animalactivism #heartivism
🌟 Empowering Through Play! 🌟

Nature Trust (Tamilnadu, India) launched the project, "Enhance the Skills of Children with Disabilities through Play," supported by one of our seed grants 🎉✨ Timed with World Autism Awareness Day 2024, this initiative resonates with the theme of "Empowering the Autistic Voices."

In particular, the grant allowed Nature Trust to provide specially curated play materials to 20 remarkable children with diverse disabilities. These tools were thoughtfully selected to ignite their development and unlock their potential. 🧩🎨

At the distribution event held on March 31st, the atmosphere was filled with joy as children and parents expressed gratitude for the newfound importance of play in their lives. 💖👦👧 The presence of local leaders underscored the significance of inclusive initiatives like this one.

Beyond distribution, Nature Trust volunteers engaged with the children, creating lasting connections and memories. 🤝 

Through the power of play, Nature Trust is fostering a more inclusive world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential. 🌈 

Let's continue spreading joy and empowerment through play! 

#EmpowerThroughPlay #InclusiveCommunities 🌟 
#childrenwithdisabilities #autism #supportchildren #kindness #heartivism #India
It's Volunteer Month! 🌟 🌟 🌟 Today we celebrate our grant advisors working on Economic Development focus area.

By meticulously selecting projects for our seed grants, they're not just funding ideas—they're empowering communities and sparking transformative change. 

Join us in celebrating their invaluable efforts and the positive impact they're creating together!

🔸 Eric Anorrey (Ghana)
🔸 Mariam Nakiryowa (Uganda)
🔸 Jean-Marie Zihalirwa (DRC)
🔸 Emily Logiron Asekon (Kenya)
🔸 Georgia Bernbaum (USA) 
🔸 Herve Tsoala Kuete (Cameroon)
🔸 Jackson Bizimungu (Rwanda)
🔸 Okumu Dickson (Uganda)
🔸 Samuel Litunya (Kenya)


#volunteermonth #volunteer #heartivism #economicdevelopment #change #empoweringcommunities
The Green Earth Initiative (#Cameroon) is a project dedicated to educating and empowering students about climate change, sustainable development, and environmental challenges, that has received a seed grant from The Pollination Project in 2023. With a focus on fostering environmental protection and conservation, the initiative establishes Eco-clubs and Environment Clubs in schools, providing students with the tools to learn, engage, and take action in their communities.

Since receiving the grant from TPP, the Green Earth Initiative has expanded its reach, now encompassing 9 additional schools across two regions/cities, surpassing its initial goal of 5. 
This expansion was made possible by the overwhelming interest from school authorities and the growing number of volunteers and team members.

Through the support of TPP and other partners, the project's environmental education programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives have impacted over 8000 students in two cities of Cameroon. Additionally, the initiative has planted over 600 trees, launched 5 Environment/Eco Clubs, and distributed over 150 adapted waste bins produced from recycled plastics, contributing to proper waste management practices.

The seed grant from The Pollination Project has been instrumental in catalyzing the growth and success of the Green Earth Initiative, enabling it to make a tangible difference in the lives of students and communities, while fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability. 

#environmentprotection #seedgrant #heartivism #environmentaleducation