Scarlett’s Superstars: Genevieve Leroux

By Anne Cissel

Kids like you can make a difference for wildlife and the environment. Meet some inspiring young heroes who have turned their love of animals into action! 



Genevieve and Dr. Jane Goodall

Genevieve Leroux, Butterfly Hero

Genevieve Leroux is a hero to monarch butterflies. And it all started with Ranger Rick! Several years ago, Genevieve read in the magazine about the National Wildlife Federation’s Butterfly Heroes program. (The National Wildlife Federation is the group that publishes Ranger Rick.) Monarchs lost much of their habitat as people built towns and planted crops. Butterfly Heroes encourages people to plant gardens that provide food for monarchs and their caterpillars.

photo by Jason Leroux

Genevieve read that monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed leaves. So she decided to start growing milkweed from seed. Soon, she had enough of the plants to share with friends, family, and people in her community. Once she had transformed her own backyard into a monarch haven, Genevieve monitored the butterflies. She placed lightweight ID stickers on their wings so people around the country were able to keep track of the insects as they migrated through North America. Thanks to her work with butterflies, Genevieve won the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes. The prize gives $10,000 to kids who help people or the environment.

In 2018, Genevieve moved to Canada. She helped convince the officials in the city of Ottawa to create an annual Pollinator Day, starting in June 2019. She also met Dr. Jane Goodall and has begun a project with her called the Roots and Shoots Monarch Conservation Community. But she’s still planting milkweed for monarchs at her own home! And she has some advice for other kids who want to do the same. “Look up the native milkweed and other flowers of the area you live in and use those to make your garden,” she says. “It’s also awesome to certify your garden as a National Wildlife Federation wildlife habitat. Then your garden can serve as an example for others to follow!” To learn how to turn your yard into great place for wildlife, visit

Meet more kid superstars!


Do you have a story to share about helping wildlife and the environment? Email us at We love hearing everyone’s stories, but we are able to feature only a few of them. All submissions become the property of the National Wildlife Federation.

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