Woman embarks on 10,000 mile bike-ride to help save monarch butt - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Woman embarks on 10,000 mile bike-ride to help save monarch butterfly populations

Posted: Updated:
ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

It's arguably one of the most unique natural wonders in the world: the monarch butterfly migration.

And one woman has made it her mission to join the butterflies in this fascinating phenomenon.

32-year-old Sara Dykman is from Kansas, but travels all across the country working in wildlife.

This past summer, she had a job in the Sierra Mountains to raise money for the journey she is embarking on, right now.

She said she has always loved animals but especially the monarch butterfly.

So now, she's making it her mission to be one with the monarchs, and ride her ButterBike along their migration path.

The journey began in Mexico, will head up to Canada, and then will return back to Mexico.

If you crunch the numbers, that's 10,000 miles.

But, for Dykman, this journey is nothing new.

"I've biked from Bolivia to Texas. I've biked to 49 states. I've canoed the Missouri River. And I've walked from Mexico to Canada," said Dykman.

She's turned that passion for long journeys into a mission to help save the monarch butterflies.

"They're so cool, just all the things they're up against. They have to cross thousands of roads, it's generational, it's multi-national. And what an incredible phenomenon that'd I'd just hate to see disappear from our planet," said Dykman.

What does she mean by multi-generational?

Well, it means that an individual butterfly doesn't make the entire journey itself.

For example, when a monarch leaves central Mexico in the spring, it is their great-great-grand kids that will be the ones returning to the same forest in the fall.

Dykman is riding her ButterBike along that path monarchs take during migration, from Mexico to Canada, and back.

"There's a lot of country between here and Mexico, it blows my mind that the monarchs can make this migration," said Dykman, while riding her bike near Essex Park on Wednesday.

Averaging 300 miles a week, she said she makes frequent stops to educate people on what they can do to help.

The biggest help to end the monarch's plight is none other than milkweed.

"This is the only food source of the monarch caterpillar, so I'm hoping folks can get these milkweed seeds and plant them in their yards and share some of their lawns with the monarchs and other pollinators," said Dykman, while showing off her stash of milkweed.

Though the 10,000 mile journey isn't always easy, for Dykman, it's a no-brainer.

"If I don't do this, who will? So that's the goal," she said.

Like a butterfly flying against the wind, Dykman's will to succeed in saving the monarchs, is unstoppable.

On Friday, June 2nd, Dykman will be the host of a Butterfly Bike Along Event at the Lake Nokomis near the Twin Cities.

You can bike the lake loop with her and then stay for a presentation to learn about her mission to save these amazing creatures.

That event is happening from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

When asked what her next adventure will be, Dykman said she's "thinking about it".

She said she's met many people along this journey already that have inspired her and challenged her in new ways.

The ButterBike journey will end from its starting point, in Mexico, in November following the fall migration. 

Powered by Frankly