Wild bees and butterflies get 16 new Butterflyways

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 16 new Butterflyways, bringing the total to 91. The Butterflyways are citizen-created corridors of at least a dozen gardens filled with native plants and maintained in pollinator-friendly ways.

“I’m inspired to see Butterflyways blossom from Vancouver Island to Nova Scotia,” said David Suzuki Foundation Rewilding Communities campaigner Colleen Cirillo. “Our crew of keen Butterflyway Rangers gathered friends and neighbours to plant wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs in yards, balconies and boulevards, making their communities beautiful and butterfly-friendly.”

The David Suzuki Foundation recruited 323 volunteer Butterflyway Rangers this spring as part of the sixth year of the award-winning Butterflyway Project. Rangers received online training in native plants, pollinators, reconciliation 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.

Across the country, Rangers planted more than 22,000 native plants and 2,400 native trees and shrubs in 562 gardens. Sixteen new Butterflyways were established, and more are on the way. Visit the Foundation website for a map of habitat gardens and Butterflyways. See below to check out 2022 Ranger snapshots and the project backgrounder.

  • Ranger Suzan, in Sechelt, B.C., raised $2,600 this year for the Cascades Green Park Butterflyway. She also assisted with the production of eye-catching print material and garden signs.
  • In just one growing season, Rangers Yulia, Kati and Judi helped 14 families design and install habitat gardens on their properties, thereby establishing the Georgina Butterflyway. They also spread pollinator and native plant awareness at multiple events and installed a Butterflyway canoe in Georgina, Ontario.
  • Ranger Ryan, in Montreal, Quebec, worked with students at Coronation Elementary School to collect and package seeds from common and butterfly milkweed plants. Packets — with original art on them — will be donated to other schools in the Montreal area as part of the school’s monarch butterfly awareness project.
  • Ranger Charlene, in First South, N.S., mentored new Rangers, generously sharing her extensive gardening and community outreach experience as well as native seeds and plants that she collects and grows. Charlene’s enthusiasm for native plants and pollinators is contagious and inspiring.
  • Ranger Val worked with a dedicated team of volunteers to care for the Lion’s Bay Indigenous Plant Garden in Lion’s Bay, B.C.

From 2017 to 2019, Rangers from nine communities participated in the project. However, during the pandemic, the project grew dramatically and now supports 750 Rangers and their teams in hundreds of communities throughout Canada. Since inception, Rangers have planted more than 100,000 native wildflowers and grasses and 2,500 trees and shrubs in schools, parks, boulevards and private yards — including a fleet of canoe gardens from Powell River, B.C., to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to Chester’s Basin, Nova Scotia.

“We train Butterflyway Rangers to be native plant and pollinator 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 are a proven critical food source for pollinators, especially when they contain native species that support a diversity of native insects throughout their life cycles.

The Butterflyway Project is proudly supported by national partner Cascades, with additional funding support by The Chamandy Foundation, Genus Capital Management and the Cavelti Family Foundation.

“Cascades is very proud to participate in the Butterflyway Project. Not only does it feel great to know that some of our plant sites are an important food source for pollinators, but several of our employees are also very involved in the project as Butterflyway Rangers or volunteers,” said Hugo D’Amours, vice-president communications, public affairs and sustainability.

For more information about the Butterflyway Project, visit www.davidsuzuki.org/butterflyway.

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For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Brendan Glauser: bGlauser@davidsuzuki.org, (604) 356-8829


The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including Indigenous leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. We envision a day where we all act on the understanding that we are one with nature.

The Butterflyway Project is an award-winning national campaign to create pollinator habitat in communities across Canada.

2022 Butterflyways:

  • South Shore NS Butterflyway, Lunenburg, N.S.
  • Pincourt Butterflyway, Pincourt, Quebec
  • Ormstown Butterflyway, Ormstown, Quebec.
  • Barrie Butterflyway, Barrie, Ont.
  • Orillia Butterflyway, Orillia, Ont.
  • White Lake Butterflyway, Godfrey, Ont.
  • Georgina Butterflyway, Georgina, Ont.
  • East Gwillimbury Butterflyway, East Gwillimbury, Ont.
  • James Dougall Butterflyway, Windsor, ON
  • Albrin Bay Park Master Gardeners and Friends Butterflyway, Winnipeg, Man.
  • Girton Gardens, Winnepeg, Man.
  • North Glenora Butterflyway, Edmonton, Alta.
  • Coulee Ridge Butterflyway, Monarch, Alta.
  • Legal’s Pollinator Pathways, Legal, Alta.
  • Puntledge Pollinator’s Butterflyway, Puntledge, B.C.
  • Sechelt Butterflyway, Sechelt, B.C.