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The Innovation Network (TIN) of Brookdale Community College participated in a 6K Walk for Water. The group raised $1,000, which will help bring clean water to the most vulnerable communities worldwide. The group chose to walk the 6K near the college campus and outlined the route ahead of time. Club members and advisors were in good spirits after completing the event late Saturday afternoon.

"I had to do an assignment for my journalism class; I needed to write an article that would raise awareness of a global issue, and I've always been intrigued by global assess to water. Aside from availability, I never considered what women could be doing if they were not making the daily trek to gather water to cook, clean, and wash. I also never considered the difficulty in carrying 70 pounds of water from a miles away river while pregnant. So, it's not just the global scarcity of something we may take for granted, but also how access to water can raise a community", said Jeanette Falotico, a journalism major at Brookdale Community College.

Worldwide, more than 19,800 participants walked or ran and helped provide over 43,800 people with life-changing access to clean water. World Vision's sponsor works with communities in desperate need to help provide clean water, nutritious food, education, medical care, and economic opportunity.

The Innovation Network is a fun way for students to act locally to make an impact globally. For more information about TIN, contact

Brookdale’s Dreamers+ club is supporting NAKASEC’s 100 Days Campaign in support of Citizenship for All. “Live Right, Live Strong, Know Your Roots and Live Together” are the founding values for NAKASEC, an organization dedicated to transforming cultures, power relationships, systems and policies in the United States.

“We plan to hang craft butterflies on the fence surrounding the White House … to illustrate the beauty and intrinsic nature of migration,” NAKASEC said.

“Butterflies symbolize the freedom of movement. Every year monarch butterflies depart on a more than thousand-mile journey from North America to Mexico. They migrate free of passports, visas and checkpoints. Humans have always been migratory beings, traveling to improve their quality of life. Recent immigration restrictions within nation-states have presented obstacles to migration,” said Professor Ashley Zampogna-Krug, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of history and faculty adviser for Dreamers+ Club.

“The campaign is designed to create the urgency and pressure necessary to hold our elected officials accountable to our immigrant communities to win a pathway to citizenship for all,” said Brookdale student Yaritza Ortega.

More information about NAKASEC’s 100 Days Campaign in Support of Citizenship for All is available at

To join Dreamers+ or for questions about designing a butterfly, contact Dreamers + at

Monarch butterflies are famous in North America for their unique migration patterns and spectacular beauty. According to the World Wildlife Fund, monarch butterflies have the scientific name of Danaus plexippus, which in Greek means "sleepy transformation." The name refers to the species' ability to hibernate and metamorphize.

Monarch butterflies inspire interest in the natural world and act as pollinators in the ecosystem. Although they weigh only half a gram, they migrate over 2000 miles from the United States and Canada to central Mexican forests every year. Unfortunately, monarch butterfly populations are rapidly declining.

The free film Pursuing the Monarchs explores the importance of monarch butterflies and the causes of monarch butterfly population decline. It states that in twenty years, up to 90% of the monarch butterfly population has disappeared. Twenty years ago, there were as many as a billion butterflies, but now there are only a few million butterflies left.

A biology graduate student found that one leading cause of monarch butterfly population decline is the rise in genetically engineered crops and herbicides. Genetically engineered crops and herbicides have poisonous chemicals that cause disease and harm milkweeds, which are the only host plant in which monarch butterflies may lay eggs. A decline in milkweeds leads to a decline in monarch butterflies.

The second leading cause of the monarch butterfly population decline is Mexican deforestation, which plays a vital role in the second part of the monarch life cycle.

Monarch lifecycles span through four generations: three generations that live and reproduce in the United States in the spring and summer, and one generation that spends the winter in Mexico. After interviewing people in Mexico, who all wished to remain anonymous, a biology graduate student found that illegal logging and wood harvesting for domestic use contribute to habitat loss and deforestation.

The third leading cause is climate change. According to the Frontiers in Environmental Science Journal, natural disasters such as hurricanes, forest fires, and blizzards destroy trees and kill many monarch butterflies, who are at risk due to low temperatures and rain.

Pursuing the Monarchs also explores how we can combat monarch butterfly population decline, which is a significant and urgent environmental issue. Monarch butterflies are an indicator of ecosystem health, so we must assist with conservation efforts. We better regulate logging while finding more environmentally friendly options for farmers and loggers who are farming and logging out of necessity.

Forests and other natural resources should have more value than wood sources because they benefit the ecosystem. Factory farming is expensive when we account for external costs such as pollution and animal abuse. We can limit the number of tourists at a reserve or resource if there is high demand. We can plant trees, establish forest plans and buffer zones, and identify the right places for the correct management practices. We can eat fewer animal products and more plant products.

These changes will create a more resilient monarch butterfly population.

Pursuing the Monarchs features a nine-year-old girl named Lorraine, who raises chickens and has a more mature understanding of nature than most adults. Instead of running away from problems, she faces problems and takes on responsibility. We should follow her example when it comes to environmental protection.

As Brookdale students and TIN environmental activists, we are raising awareness of monarch butterfly population decline by building a monarch waystation and meditation garden. We invite you to follow our journey on Instagram @ TIN_BCC.

Simple changes will allow monarch butterflies to thrive for generations to come.

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