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Natural Habitat Adventures invites U.S.-based environmental educators to apply for a 2019 Monarch Butterfly Scholarship. The grant will award two qualified teachers an opportunity to experience the monarch butterfly migration while traveling on a small-group Mexico adventure led by premier naturalist guides. On this rare nature experience in Central Mexico’s forested highlands, the two scholarship winners will witness and learn about an astounding natural phenomenon as millions of monarchs gather at their winter roosting sites.
The Monarch Butterfly Scholarship Grant application process is now open to preschool, elementary, middle and high school teachers; college professors; educational exhibition curators; nonprofit outreach specialists; textbook authors; and any other environmental educators. The application form is available online, and the deadline to apply is Oct. 1, 2018. Each recipient will be awarded one space on Nat Hab’s Jan. 6, 2019 Kingdom of the Monarchs adventure (a $3,595 value), plus free roundtrip airfare to Mexico City.
In January, the two grant winners will travel on foot and horseback into remote fir groves where millions of butterflies congregate for the winter. The small group will make three visits to Mexico’s famous monarch sanctuaries—intimate experiences that are sure to leave the educators with lasting lessons and memories to share with their students back in the U.S.
The nature adventure will be enhanced by expert interpretation from Natural Habitat Adventures’ monarch Expedition Leaders, who have in-depth training as naturalists (with an average of 19 years of guiding experience) along with access to resources from World Wildlife Fund scientists.
Along the journey, scholarship recipients will witness firsthand the local economic benefits of butterfly ecotourism during visits to a traditional Mexican mountain village and a rural market. The expedition also includes stops at cultural sites including the 13th-century Indian settlement of Toluca, the Cosmovitral Botanic Gardens and stained glass panels, and the lakeside market town and waterfalls of Valle de Bravo.
Winners will overnight at accommodations that immerse travelers in charming local environs while providing easy access to the butterflies, including a cozy inn in the small mountain hamlet of Angangueo and a luxury spa resort in the forested foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. They will also enjoy home-cooked dishes sourced from fresh local food, reflecting the region’s culinary heritage.
“We’re thrilled to be able to extend this exciting opportunity to hard-working educators who are teaching the next generation to be responsible stewards of our natural environment,” said Court Whelan, Natural Habitat’s Director of Sustainability & Conservation Travel. “Teachers who educate our society about the importance of wild ecosystems are essential allies in the global effort to protect threatened species and the wild places they depend on.”
Visit nathab.com/monarchgrant for more details and to view the scholarship grant application form.
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