Thanks to Carter Steadman, a budding young monarch conservation specialist from Virginia. His photo appears on page 36 of the Revised and Updated How to Raise Monarch Butterflies A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids. This is his story. And thanks to his mother Sarah, herself a dedicated monarch volunteer.
Carter is a 10 year-old naturalist and Loudoun County public school student in Virginia (US) who discovered his passion for butterflies and bugs early in life. In second grade, he learned about the Monarch butterfly from his teacher and has been raising and releasing wild-caught Monarchs for 2 years since. In addition to habitat restoration efforts and planting several registered Monarch waystations, including one at his elementary school that now serves as an outdoor classroom, Carter is passionate about teaching his peers and their families about the wide world of insects and plants, and especially about saving the Monarch butterfly. Carter found an alliance in these conservation efforts with his local Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy and began partnering with them in their Monarch campaign, assisting in public awareness events. He has presented at libraries, schools, community centers, on national television, and most recently at the 2015 White House Egg Roll with Kansas University’s Monarch Watch. Carter keeps a website called butterflybuddy.com and a Facebook page by the same name that he uses as a teaching tool and a way to reach children and families about how bugs and butterflies are our buddies. Like most other 10-year-old children, Carter enjoys sports, friendships, and games, but most of his time is spent outdoors discovering the world around him. In his own words, “Everyone should know about the magic of the Monarch. They need help, and you’re never too young to make a difference.”