Volunteer Rangers grow neighbourhood pollinator corridors

TORONTO  — Gardens in 134 communities throughout Canada are buzzing with activity this spring, thanks to hundreds of volunteer Butterflyway Rangers from the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project. With help from friends, neighbours, local groups and businesses, they’re planting Butterflyways — local pollinator corridors of butterfly- and bee-friendly native wildflowers.

“It’s inspiring to see people learn to help butterflies and bees and then jump right into action in their yards and neighbourhoods,” Butterflyway Project team lead Jode Roberts said. “Rangers lead by example. They plant native wildflowers in their gardens, lawns and balconies, and recruit friends and neighbours to join the fun.

The Butterflyway Project and its French-language counterpart L’effet papillon launched in 2017. Over the first three years, 599 Rangers in nine communities took part. They planted over 28,000 wildflowers and established 764 pollinator patches.

In early March, the Foundation trained 86 B.C.-based Rangers in person. Due to COVID-19, the project pivoted to national online webinars.

“We were fortunate to be able to adapt and expand the project, “Roberts said. “We’re excited to see the national network of Butterflyway Rangers blossom from Surrey to Smithers to Strathmore to Saskatoon to Shoal Lake to Sault Ste. Marie to Scarborough to Shubenacadie to St. John’s.”

The David Suzuki Foundation also piloted a Butterflyway Schools project this spring, recruiting representatives from more than 250. Due to school closures, trainings have been online. Schoolyard plantings may continue in the fall.

June 22-28 is National Pollinator Week in Canada and the U.S.

Find Butterflyway communities and schools on the Butterflyway Map. Learn more about the Butterflyway Project at www.davidsuzuki.org/butterflyway.

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For more information, photographs of Butterflyway Rangers in action or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jode Roberts, David Suzuki Foundation: 647.456.9751 jroberts@davidsuzuki.org

About: The David Suzuki Foundation (davidsuzuki.org) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. The Butterflyway Project is an award-winning national campaign to create pollinator habitat in communities throughout Canada.