David Suzuki Foundation launches 2020 Butterflyway Project in Vancouver, Richmond and District of North Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The David Suzuki Foundation is launching its 2020 Butterflyway season in Vancouver, Richmond and the District of North Vancouver on February 10, 2020.

It will be the fourth year Lower Mainland residents will participate as Butterflyway Rangers in the eight-month project to help butterflies and wild bees.

Between Vancouver, Richmond and the District of North Vancouver, more than 150 Butterflyway plantings have been created since 2017. The Butterflyway project’s goal is to empower citizens to take a hands-on approach to help wild pollinators. Participants connect through neighbourhood planting events and school activities to help alleviate the environmental challenges wild pollinators face.

According to the Xerces Society, the sharp decline in western monarch butterflies continues to cause concern. Experts in B.C. and the Lower Mainland monitor the health of migratory butterfly species like West Coast lady and painted lady because drought, wildfires, rain storms and flooding in northern and southern California make it challenging for them to complete their life cycles during migration.

Carol Both is a Butterflyway Ranger and vice-president and program chair of the Sunset Community Garden committee. “Being a part of the 2019 David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway Project as a Butterflyway Ranger reinforced my belief that a small group of dedicated, like-minded people can make a big difference in many ways in any community,” she said.

According to Lori Snyder, Vancouver Butterflyway Ranger and Indigenous herbalist and medicinal educator, “Education is the key. When I am sharing knowledge with others to take actions, we discover our responsibility as caretakers of Mother Earth.”

Butterflyway Ranger recruitment begins Monday, February 10. The foundatino will invite selected Rangers before the end of February to join a one-day training program on Saturday, March 7, at the UBC Botanical Garden.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Winnie Hwo, winnie@davidsuzuki.org, 604-732-4228 #1255, 778-866-6371

About:

The national Butterflyway project took root in the east when Homegrown National Park Rangers were recruited to help plant milkweed for the dwindling monarch butterfly populations. When the western Butterflyway Rangers joined the movement, most understood that western monarchs are rare in the Lower Mainland. But they joined because they know climate change affects wild pollinators and butterfly species in the west as much as the east. Since the initial launch in Richmond and Victoria four years ago, western Butterflyway Rangers have developed a deep interest in learning about the butterfly species that show up in the west and keep tabs on those that no longer make it here. They have also been studying and documenting coastal butterflies and the native pollinator plants they rely on.

In 2020, Vancouver, Richmond and District of North Vancouver Butterflyway Rangers will expand the scope of their work from the past season. Apart from planting native wildflowers to help build and promote municipal- and neighbourhood-scale highways of pollinator habitat, Butterflyway Rangers will:

  • Explore the relationship between indigenous plants, wild pollinators and humans, with support from the Museum of Vancouver.
  • As citizen scientists, identify prevalent butterfly species through the BIMBY (Butterflies in My Backyard) initiative. Butterflyway Rangers will be supported by Tara Moreau from UBC Botanical Garden to connect citizens with science for conservation work.

Those passionate about native plants and wild pollinators like butterflies, bees and birds can join the Butterflyway Project and make a real difference for critical species humans depend on for food and well-being.