Trecia Neal photo 2014 Service Award winner 

Trecia Neal’s many years of service to the Monarchs Across Georgia committee, her continual efforts to educate the students and teachers in DeKalb County about monarchs through her position at Fernbank Science Center, and her dedication as a Conservation Specialist with the Monarch Watch Bring Back the Monarchs program, are just a few examples of why Trecia deserves to be recognized as the 2014 Monarchs Across Georgia Service Award recipient. 

Trecia was “bitten by the bug,” the monarch butterfly that is, back in 2004 when she traveled to Mexico to visit the overwintering colonies.  Since that time, she has co-chaired the Monarchs Across Georgia committee for 2 years and volunteered for other intra-committee duties such as Mexico Book Project coordinator.  She has engaged countless elementary through high school DeKalb County students with her monarch outreach program “Butterflies Are Free.” She has enlightened staff, faculty and parents enrolled in the School Master Gardener program; many of which have become monarch ambassadors in their own schools and neighborhoods.  She actively serves as member of the Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist’s team. 

 Trecia, being an avid reader and life-long learner, has kept abreast of the issues concerning the decline in monarch numbers which triggered the application to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for a “threatened” status of the migrating population.  She has made numerous presentations statewide and written articles to make the public aware of these concerns and efforts and has spearheaded habitat restoration efforts here in Georgia by campaigning for the collection of native milkweed seeds for Monarch Watch’s program Bring Back the Monarchs.