The DuPage Monarch Project and River Prairie Group are pleased to present Bicycling with Butterflies, a virtual program by Sara Dykman on March 16, 7:30 pm.

In 2017 Sara Dykman became the first person to follow – by bicycle – the eastern population of monarch butterflies on their multinational, multigenerational, roundtrip migration.  Her 10,201 mile adventure From Mexico to Canada and back, on a beat-up bicycle, was a call to action.  

“The monarchs need us,” Dykman explained, “they can’t call politicians to demand healthy prairies or rally for native gardens. But we can. We might not be able to fly like butterflies, but we can bike alongside them, and be their voice.”

Dykman deftly combined tales of her travels and popular science into the memoir, Bicycling with Butterflies (Timber Press, April 2021), recounting her inspirational ride alongside the monarchs. The cast of characters includes eager schoolchildren, devoted citizen scientists, skeptical bar patrons, fellow bicyclists, climate deniers, unimpressed border officials, and  -of course- millions of monarchs. Dykman passionately shares the urgent plight of the monarchs and the complex science underpinning their dwindling numbers. Filled with optimism, energy, and hope, Bicycling with Butterflies is a compelling story, confirming the urgency of saving the threatened monarch migration—and the other threatened systems of nature that affect the survival of us all. “It is part science, part adventure, part love letter to nature,” Dykman explained. 

Sara Dykman is the founder of beyondabook.org, which fosters lifelong learners, boundary pushers, explorers, and stewards. She works in amphibian research and as an outdoor educator, guiding young people into nature so they can delight in its complicated brilliance. She hopes her own adventures—walking from Mexico to Canada, canoeing the Missouri River from source to sea, and cycling over 80,000 miles across North and South America (including the monarch migration trip)—will empower young and old to dream big.