HIGHLAND PARK – This years Elm Place School Project Citizen program,” The Doomed Butterly: Save the Monarch Butterfly Migration,” was recognized and featured at the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI) Annual Meeting in June in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Sponsor Dr. Mark Nolan Hill of Highland Park will present a summary of the ceremony to the mayor and City Council at the July 10 City Council Meeting.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational consortium of 130 member cities. It deals with the ecological issues of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River through the member cities Mayors (and/or their representatives). This was founded in 2003 by former Mayor Richard M. Daley (Chicago) and former Mayor David Miller (Toronto).
Last year, one of the GLSLCI Resolutions was THE MAYORS MONARCH PLEDGE in reference to the plummeting population of the Monarch and what individual cities can do.
Dr. Mark Nolan Hill, a Highland Park resident, has represented Highland Park (volunteer and uncompensated) to the GLSLCI since its beginning in 2003. Serendipitously Dr. Hill yearly volunteers to coordinate the Project Citizen program at Elm Place School for 20 years, and felt that the GLSLCI Resolution concerning the Monarch Butterfly would make an excellent topic for the 2016-2017 Elm Place School Project Citizen.
Project Citizen is a nationally sponsored program in which the students learn about public policy and civic education, and each year choose a problem in their community, research it, develop a public policy and an action plan to promote it. The Elm Place students are guided by Dr. Hill, presented a Simulated Legislative Hearing in May to the school, community, and to a Panel including Highland Park Mayor Rotering, Dr. Hill, and Racine Mayor John Dickert (President, GLSLCI) and founding Executive Director of the GLSLCI David Ullrich. This was followed by a presentation to Mayor Rotering and the City Council with receipt of a Mayoral Proclamation.
Although the GLSLCI Meeting in Montreal discussed issues including climate change, invasive species, beaches, water quality, fish consumption,toxic chemicals, habitat, nutrients and algae, watershed impacts, the highlight was the invitation by the GLSLCI to Dr. Hill to present the Elm Place School Project Citizen program on the Monarch butterfly. It was received with great enthusiasm and many accolades, including recognition by Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Chairman of the GLSLCI.