Wild bees and butterflies have 4,726 new wildflower patches to visit
TORONTO | Traditional territory of many nations (including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples) and now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples — A national network of butterfly-friendly gardens throughout Canada blossomed this year with the creation of over 60 new Butterflyways. The Butterflyways are citizen-created corridors of at least a dozen gardens filled with native wildflowers that support local pollinators like wild bees and butterflies.
“It has been inspiring to see Butterflyways blossom from West Vancouver to Winnipeg and Brantford to Lunenburg County,” said Butterflyway Project manager Jode Roberts. “Our crew of keen Butterflyway Rangers were able to bring friends and neighbours together to plant wildflowers in yards, balconies and boulevards and make their communities beautiful and butterfly-filled.”
The David Suzuki Foundation recruited more than 1,000 volunteer Butterflyway Rangers this spring as part of the fifth year of the award-winning Butterflyway Project. Rangers received online training in pollinator conservation and community organizing. They reached out to neighbours and local groups to encourage planting butterfly-friendly native plants, with the aim of planting at least a dozen new pollinator patches — a local Butterflyway.
This summer, Rangers planted more than 35,000 wildflowers in 279 communities from Saanich, B.C., to St. Anthony, Newfoundland. They also established new, official Butterflyways in 60 communities (see online Butterflyway map and backgrounder below for full list), including:
- A keen team of Rangers in Brantford, Ontario, mapped over 170 pollinator patches as part of the Brantford and Surrounding Area Butterflyway;
- Ranger Charlene from First South, Nova Scotia, teamed up with her granddaughter to distribute dozens of native plants and seed kits, resulting in over 60 plantings as part of the Lunenburg County Butterflyway;
- Ranger Sandi encouraged 27 neighbours from her street to plant native wildflowers, creating the Astra Road Butterflyway in Comox, B.C.;
- Rangers Carla and Gail in Regina, Saskatchewan, led efforts to plant thousands of wildflowers in yards, schools and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum as part of the Regina Butterflyway;
- Rangers Clara and Jordan-Anne are high school students from Perth and Almonte, Ontario, who teamed up to create a dozen new pollinator patches in each of their communities and are aiming to grow their Lanark Butterflyway throughout the county; and
- Rangers in four Winnipeg neighbourhoods — Corydon Osborne, Island Lakes, Norwood Flats and Southland Park — created Butterflyways this summer.
Over the first three years of the project, Rangers from nine communities participated. During the pandemic, the project has grown dramatically, with over 1,000 Rangers joining this spring. After five years, Rangers have planted over 85,000 native wildflowers in schools, parks, boulevards and gardens — including a fleet of wildflower-filled canoe planters from Powell River, B.C., to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Chester’s Basin, Nova Scotia.
“We train Butterflyway Rangers to be native plant and gardening ambassadors in their communities,” said Winnie Hwo, senior public engagement specialist with the David Suzuki Foundation. “But the training only takes this project so far. The success of the Butterflyway this year truly demonstrates what people with enthusiasm and passion for the planet can do when they come together.”
Pollinators ensure reproduction for more than 90 per cent of the world’s flowering plants. Yet invertebrate species have declined 45 per cent over the past four decades. Gardens have proven a critical food source for pollinators, and planting native wildflowers and shrubs can be an effective way to support these species that help us to live.
The Butterflyway Project is proudly supported by national partners Nature’s Way and Cascades. For more information about the Butterflyway Project, visit www.davidsuzuki.org/butterflyway.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Stefanie Carmichael, David Suzuki Foundation: email@example.com, 437-221-4692
The David Suzuki Foundation (davidsuzuki.org) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization. The Foundation has offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
The Butterflyway Project is an award-winning national campaign to create pollinator habitat in communities across Canada.
BUTTERFLYWAY PROJECT BACKGROUNDER (2017 – 2021)
- The David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project has recruited over 2,000 volunteer Butterflyway Rangers since 2017, including 1,246 In 2021.
- Through the Butterflyway Project, over 89,000 native wildflowers have been planted, including 35,000 In 2021.
- There have been over 6,500 Butterflyway Project-related plantings since the project began, including 4,726 reported in 2021.
- Over 500 schools have participated in the Butterflyway Project, including 108 in 2021.
- Rangers have spread the idea of using old canoes as planters from coast to coast, with canoe gardens being established in a dozen communities, including Powell River and Maple Ridge, B.C., Bolton, Brantford, Caledon, Killaloe, Markham, Mississauga, Scarborough and Thornbury, Ontario, and Chester’s Basin, Nova Scotia.
- The Butterflyway Project received the Canadian Museum of Nature’s 2020 Nature Inspiration Award.
New Butterflyways created in 2021
Below is a list of new Butterflyways — communities and neighbourhoods with at least a dozen new pollinator plantings — from 2021. Visit the online Butterflyway map.
NAME OF BUTTERFLYWAY Town/City Province
Ajax & Pickering Butterflyway Ajax/Pickering ON
Allison Butterflyway Allison NB
Antigonish Butterflyway Antigonish NS
Bracebridge Butterflyway Bracebridge ON
Bramalea Butterflyway Brampton ON
Heart Lake Butterflyway Brampton ON
Brantford & Surrounding Area Butterflyway Brantford ON
Caledon Butterflyway Caledon ON
Chatham-Kent Butterflyway Chatham-Kent ON
Pebble Beach Butterflyway Cobourg ON
Astra Road Butterflyway Comox BC
Dunnottar Butterflyway Dunnottar MB
Elora Butterflyway Elora ON
Kawartha Lakes Butterflyway Fenelon Falls ON
Hamilton Butterflyway Hamilton/Ancaster ON
Willows Springs Butterflyway Kaministiquia ON
Kaslo-Kootenay Lake Butterflyway Kaslo BC
Kettleby – King Township Butterflyway Kettleby ON
Rideau Heights Butterflyway Kingston ON
Lunenburg County Butterflyway Lunenburg NS
Maple Ridge Butterflyway Maple Ridge BC
Notre-dame-de-Grâce Butterflyway Montreal QC
Morin Heights Butterflyway Morin Heights QC
Shannon Creek Butterflyway Oakville ON
North Nepean Butterflyway Ottawa ON
Ottawa West Butterflyway Ottawa ON
Lanark County Butterflyway Perth + Almonte ON
Renfrew County Butterflyway Petawawa ON
Port Credit Butterflyway Port Credit ON
Powell River Butterflyway Powell River BC
Regina Butterflyway Regina SK
Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson Butterflyway Ste-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson QC
Saint-Lazare Butterflyway Saint-Lazare QC
Danforth Gardens Pollinator Pathway Scarborough ON
Rouge Butterflyway Scarborough ON
Schreiber Butterflyway Schreiber ON
Sioux Narrows Butterflyway Sioux Narrows ON
Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG) Butterflyway South Dundas ON
Southampton Butterflyway Southampton ON
Northern Peninsula Butterflyway St. Anthony NL
The Green Herons – Niagara Butterflyway St. Catharines ON
Stratford Butterflyway Stratford ON
Sudbury Butterflyway Sudbury ON
Town of Blue Mountains & Meaford Butterflyway Thornbury ON
Thunder Bay Butterflyway Thunder Bay ON
Woodington Avenue Butterflyway Toronto ON
Balaclava Butterflyway Vancouver BC
Kitchener Street Butterflyway Vancouver BC
Champlain Township Public Library Butterflyway VanKleek Hill ON
Vaudreuil-Dorion Butterflyway Vaudreuil-Dorion QC
Eastern Shore Butterflyway West Chezzetcook NS
Ambleside Butterflyway West Vancouver BC
Cedardale Butterflyway West Vancouver BC
Westport Butterflyway Westport ON
Weymouth Butterflyway Weymouth NS
Island Lakes Butterflyway Winnipeg MB
Norwood Flats Butterflyway Winnipeg MB
Corydon Osborne Greenway Butterflyway Winnipeg MB
Southland Park Butterflyway Winnipeg MB