David Suzuki Foundation volunteers celebrate new corridors for bees and butterflies

RICHMOND, B.C. — Over the past two months, David Suzuki Foundation volunteers have planted a network of close to two dozen new butterfly-friendly gardens in Richmond, B.C., in schoolyards and city and neighbourhood parks. The plantings were established as part of the Butterflyway Project, a national effort to reimagine neighbourhoods as highways of habitat for pollinators, from bumblebees to monarch butterflies.

“Our team of Butterflyway Rangers has created one of Canada’s first Butterflyways, in Richmond’s Thompson, Steveston, Broadmoor, Shellmont, City Centre, Cambie West, Cambie East and East Richmond neighbourhoods,” Butterflyway Project Richmond lead Winnie Hwo said. “With help from teachers, students, city staff, local businesses, farms, garden clubs and citizens, the Richmond Rangers have made remarkable progress creating an official Butterflyway through their community.”

In March, the David Suzuki Foundation began recruiting residents in Victoria, Richmond, Toronto, Markham and Montreal to be part of the program. More than 150 keen volunteers were trained as “Butterflyway Rangers” and supported in their collective mission to create patches of butterfly- and bee-friendly habitat in their neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods where Ranger troops plant a dozen or more pollinator patches get official David Suzuki Foundation Butterflyway designation, including signs and inclusion in the national Butterflyway Project map.

Victoria Rangers created butterfly-themed costumes and a bike-trailer garden that won second prize in a local parade. Markham and Toronto Rangers filled a dozen retired canoes with pollinator-friendly wildflowers.

The Richmond Garden Club created Butterflyway gardens in Richmond’s Cultural Centre Rooftop Garden and the Paulik Park. Richmond Rangers also adopted neighbourhood parks through the city’s Adopt-a-Park program. In the next two months, Richmond Butterflyway Rangers will showcase their work in two major events — The Sharing Farm’s Ninth Annual Garlic Festival August 20 and the Richmond HarvestFest September 30.

To date, the Richmond Butterflyway includes the following locations:

  • Agassiz Neighbourhood Park and nearby cul-de-sac
  • Bridgeport Industrial Park pollinator pastures
  • Cambridge Park townhouse and apartment complex
  • Choice School for Gifted Children
  • City of Richmond Public Works Yard — Environmental Programs
  • J. N. Burnett Secondary School
  • McNair Secondary School
  • Myron Court roundabout
  • Paulik Neighbourhood Park
  • Phoenix Perennials nursery
  • Richmond City Hall
  • Richmond Cultural Centre Rooftop Garden
  • Richmond Jewish Day School
  • Richmond Nature Park
  • Richmond Secondary School
  • With Our Own Two Hands Preschool and Learning Centre, Steveston
  • The Sharing Farm
  • Shell Road Recreational Trail
  • Terra Nova Nature School
  • Tomekichi Homma Elementary
  • Plus, three homes in Steveston and one in Delta

The Butterflyway Project is based on the David Suzuki Foundation’s award-winning Homegrown National Park Project and is generously supported by Nature’s Way and Cascades.

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For further information, please contact:

Brendan Glauser, David Suzuki Foundation, 604-356-8829, bglauser@davidsuzuki.org