CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's a 10,000 mile trail Scientist Sara Dykman is traveling. That path has led her through Cape Girardeau, Missouri where she visited students from St. Vincent de Paul School.
Dykman welcomed students from several classrooms to join her in her adventure chasing Monarch butterflies from Mexico, through the U.S., to Canada and back.
Students learned important information about the butterfly, what butterflies eat, how they are born and much more including the declining population of the butterfly species over the course of the last couple of decades.
"I hope that kids can see me, a woman scientist, and adventurer and life long learner, following my dreams," Dykman said. "This is important to me not because it's my job, not because I'm making a bunch of money or I want to be famous, but because I want to help the Monarch."
Dykman feels it's important to share her story while she's out and biking their migration paths.
"Probably not all of them are going to quit their jobs or finish college and then go on a long trip but some of them might," Dykman added. "I emphasize that you don't have to go on a big bike tour to help the Monarch or be a voice for a Monarch. You simply need to plant gardens."
Gardens Dykman recommends milkweed and nectar plants.
Milkweed is the only food source of the Monarch caterpillar while nectar plants feed the adult Monarch butterflies.
"I would just encourage everyone to plant these gardens," Dykman said. "When you see a garden in Cape, recognize that it might fly to Mexico or that it might have come from Canada and that this Monarch connects three countries. It's really special and the future of the Monarch is in our hands."
Dykman's next stop on her butterfly path will be in Jefferson City.