Rachel TaylorSaving the Monarchy
Rachel Taylor is a local business owner, Citizen Scientist and volunteer Research Associate for Southwest Monarch Study. She is passionate about engaging fellow Utahns in discovering and protecting the native flora and fauna around us, especially the monarch butterfly which caught her attention growing up in rural Utah. The monarch butterfly is currently being considered for listing as an Endangered Species, with a decision pending late 2020.
When her attempt to grow native milkweed in her yard and attract monarchs to lay eggs was wildly successful, the project grew to growing and giving away hundreds of milkweed seedlings each spring, as well as teaching classes on Monarchs and Milkweed at Red Butte Garden, Swaner Nature Preserve, Osher Lifelong Learning and elsewhere. She has visited monarch overwintering sites along the California coast, as well as the high mountains of central Mexico, a bucket list item for sure! She is active in tagging monarchs to study migration patterns, through Southwest Monarch Study.
In an effort to grow a larger amount of milkweed seedlings to share, in 2019 Rachel partnered with the Nadkarni Lab and the Department of Corrections to grow native milkweed species at their greenhouse, and helped to create an eight-week course taught at the facility. They shared hundreds of seedlings with Salt Lake City and County Parks and Open Space for restoration projects, including along the Jordan River. She also partnered with the State of Utah to develop a website on Monarch Conservation in Utah; as well as launch statewide Citizen Science projects to help map out where monarch breeding habitat is throughout the state in order to preserve what we have, and then to enhance it.