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60K Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to help save the monarch butterfly stops at Union Station

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Courtesy Union Station

On Saturday, Sept. 24, 15 exhibitors will join Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour along the tracks on the northwest side of Union Station to advocate for North America’s iconic monarch butterfly. 

In July, the International Union for Conservation of Nature red-listed the migratory monarch as endangered, placing it just two steps from extinction. This means that the monarch has a 10% chance of remaining above the extinction threshold within the next 30 years. 

Aside from the sheer enchantment of watching a monarch flutter by on a late summer afternoon, these butterflies are key contributors to pollination. Their survival is critical to the health of natural ecosystems and global food security.

Kansas City Southern (KCS), Canadian Pacific (CP), GATX, Monterrey Metropolitan Rotary Club (Rotary), and NASCO launched Save the Monarch Butterfly 60,000 Tree Challenge North American Boxcar Tour to protect monarchs in their 3,000-mile tri-national migration from Canada to Mexico. 

Exhibitors like the Kansas City Zoo, St. Louis Zoo, and Missouri Department for Conservation will engage community members through activities, games, and performances to generate awareness (and funds) to promote pollinator habitats.

Proceeds will be used to plant 60,000 oyamel trees, which function as a winter haven for the butterflies, at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán, Mexico to help re-establish the monarch population.

This free public event will extend from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., opening with a ceremony and pledges by local officials. Food trucks and other vendors will be onsite.

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