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HUMANS OF SARNIA: Karen Paterson-Durance

Karen Paterson-Durance

In the enchanting world of Sarnia's nature enthusiasts, I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Paterson-Durance, a retiree from the Lambton Kent District Board of Education whose passion for Monarch butterflies has blossomed into a captivating journey.

Karen graciously welcomed me into her home, where she unveiled her Monarch Butterfly Waystation, a haven dedicated to supporting these majestic creatures throughout their remarkable migration journey. As we strolled through her garden, Karen's eyes sparkled with a deep-rooted love for nature and conservation.

Having been inspired by a friend who raised Monarchs, Karen delved into the intricacies of butterfly rearing herself. She eagerly shared the wonders of the butterfly life cycle, showcasing chrysalises and the breathtaking emergence of Monarch butterflies.

Her garden, meticulously designed to cater to Monarchs and other butterflies, is a symphony of colors, scents, and life. The carefully chosen plants serve as both hosts and nourishment for these winged wonders, creating a serene and calming ambiance that envelops visitors in tranquility. Amidst the flora, two cheerful chickens add a touch of whimsy to the scene.

Karen's dedication extends beyond the beauty of her garden; she's deeply invested in the conservation efforts essential for Monarchs' survival. She explained the significance of providing habitats that aid their migration to central Mexico, where each fall, they embark on a 4,000-kilometer journey. Through tagging and monitoring programs, Karen actively contributes to tracking these magnificent creatures, with one of her Monarch butterflies even making it to Mexico!

Her passion doesn't stop there. Karen generously offers garden tours, attracting scores of visitors eager to witness the magic of butterflies up close. She delights in the awe and wonder reflected in the faces of children who visit, knowing that she's sparked a lasting fascination and connection with nature in their hearts.

For Karen, the ultimate joy lies in the release of the butterflies, a moment filled with hope, wonder, and the promise of nature's resilience. Her dedication to Monarchs and environmental education is a testament to the transformative power of passion and the profound impact one individual can have on preserving our natural world.

Through Karen's story, Sarnia's vibrant ecosystem and the importance of nurturing our natural heritage come to life, reminding us of the beauty and fragility of the world around us.

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