KCS Introduces the Monarch Mariposa Project


Kansas City Southern is proud to have partnered with the Kansas City Downtown Rotary Club and Suburban Lawn & Garden to help save the Monarch Butterfly (Mariposa) population.

Monarch butterflies are among the most recognizable animals in North America. In addition to being an international symbol of the environment, the beautiful monarch butterflies contribute to the health of our planet. While feeding on nectar, they pollinate many types of wildflowers. Monarch butterflies are also an important food source for birds, small animals, and other insects. 

Witnessing the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico should be on every nature-lover's bucket list. Monarchs use a combination of air currents, the magnetic pull of the earth and the position of the sun among others, to find their way south to Michoacán, Mexico for the winter and to the United States for summer.

Monarchs only travel during the day and need to find a roost at night where they gather together at “waystations” to rest and refuel along the way.  Many of these locations are used year after year.

The more prominent and well-known eastern migration travels south from States and travel along the I-35 corridor, known as the "Monarch Highway," in the central United States. This Monarch Highway in the US and through Mexico to Michoacán is directly along the KCS network route.  

Although the Mexican Government recognized the importance of Oyamel forests to monarch butterflies, deforestation throughout Michoacán over the past decades has fragmented the habitat. People have illegally harvested Oyamel trees for wood fuel and timber.  The disappearance of the Oyamel forest is not only affecting the monarch butterfly, whose population has decreased by 80% in just 20 years, but also the local communities that own the forest who rely on it for their livelihoods, water, healthy soil, and erosion control.

We have partnered with the Kansas City Downtown Rotary Club and Suburban Lawn and Garden to help rebuild and protect the sacred Oyamel fir tree in the El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary in Michoacán.  

There are two ways for you to help:

  • Kansas City gardeners can go to SuburbanLG.com to reserve your butterfly plants for your local gardens now (pick up in May) and SurburbanLG will donate 50% of the profit for each butterfly native plant to the purchase of Oyamel Trees for the El Rosario Sanctuary. Look for the Monarch Mariposa Project.


  • Those who aren’t in Kansas City or not able to purchase plants may make a donation online where 100% of the donation will go to buying Oyamel seedlings for El Rosario. Just $10 buys twenty-one Oyamel saplings! 

Thank you for helping us save the Monarchs.