Monarch Plymouth Place's bi-annual philanthropy magazine tells the story of our donors and the extraordinary impact of their gifts. The monarch butterfly has long had significance at Plymouth Place, as we are dedicated to a monarch-breeding program with a flight house, native plants, and a butterfly garden. The symbolism of what these incredible creatures are able to accomplish is paralleled by our story of philanthropy.
Each year, monarchs make a journey of more then 2,000 miles to Mexico, with their arrival perfectly coinciding with the Day of the Dead celebration. It is believed that these graceful creatures are the returning spirits of ancestors coming home to their families.
The journey to Mexico is made by individual monarchs. Their return to the north requires multiple generations to accomplish the goal it is something of a relay race. By the time they reach Texas, they find a mate. Their resulting eggs turn into caterpillars, who grow into butterflies. Those butterflies take the baton and travel further north. Then those butterflies mate and produce offspring that continue the journey further north. The process repeats itself until, 3 months and 3 generations later, monarchs begin arriving back to us in the spring. FOUR generations are needed to complete the migratory circle each year.
Not unlike our donors, the monarchs work individually and as a collective toward great things. Their work, their legacy, requires the next generation to pick up the baton and carry on a little further.