Iconic is the most appropriate word to describe the Monarch butterfly. Most of us have fond childhood memories of the unmistakable orange and black beauty flitting around the blue sky on sunny summer days. They were everywhere — and their presence was so magnificent. Their name, in Greek, means “sleepy transformation” in recognition of their ability to hibernate and metamorphize — and if you’ve ever watched it happen through a glass jar, you understand why.

If you’ve been feeling like you don’t see as many Monarch butterflies as you remember seeing 5, 10, or 20 years ago, you’re not imagining things. Loss of habitat, along with pesticides and the eradication of the Monarch butterfly’s host plant (Milkweed), has resulted in Monarch butterflies becoming endangered.

When we hear about an endangered species, it’s hard not to feel helpless and insignificant. But, unlike with many endangered species, you — yes, you! — hold real power to make a positive difference in protecting the Monarch butterfly and helping their populations thrive right in your own backyard. Here are some easy ideas to get you started. Let’s make a positive difference together!