David Suzuki Foundation looking for volunteers to bring butterflies home this summer

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 — The David Suzuki Foundation is recruiting community volunteers from all parts of Canada to take part in the award-winning Butterflyway Project as “Butterflyway Rangers.” The resident-led project aims to reimagine gardens, lawns, roadsides, parks and schoolyards as neighbourhood-wide networks of habitat for wild bees and butterflies, fuelled by the enthusiasm and ingenuity of local Rangers.

“They say not all heroes wear capes. Some wear wings!” said Butterflyway Project lead Jode Roberts. “Butterflyway Rangers have been volunteering their time and energy to not only help at-risk pollinators survive and thrive for the past five years, but also to beautify and connect their communities. Especially during lockdowns, it’s important to get to know your neighbours and see a few more flowers in your yard.”

Over the past five years, Rangers in hundreds of communities from Comox, British Columbia, to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, established native wildflower plantings in their neighbourhoods. In 2021 alone, Rangers established new Butterflyways — consisting of 12 or more new wildflower plantings — in 61 communities. These gardens provide habitat for wild bees and butterflies, while also contributing to the beauty and sustainability of neighbourhoods.

Until February 13, residents can apply to become official Butterflyway Rangers. They will receive free online training, official Ranger T-shirts and Butterflyway garden signs, plus ongoing support from David Suzuki Foundation staff and the community of over 1,000 trained Rangers.

“Cascades is proud to have helped the Butterflyway Project grow and blossom over the past five years,” said Hugo D’Amours, Vice-President, Communications, Public Affairs and Sustainable Development at Cascades. “We believe that together we can alter the landscape of our neighbourhoods and workplaces from simple looking lawns to something great!”

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:

Stefanie Carmichael, David Suzuki Foundation: scarmichael@davidsuzuki.org, 437-223-4692

About: 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 throughout Canada.

BACKGROUNDER: David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project

About the Butterflyway Project:

  • The David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project launched in 2017 in Toronto, Markham, Richmond and Victoria, and in Montreal as l’effet papillon.
  • Over 2,000 volunteer Butterflyway Rangers have been recruited in hundreds of communities.
  • 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 won the 2020 Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature and is based on the Homegrown National Park Project (2013-2016).
  • The Butterflyway Project is supported by national partner Cascades, and with the support of Charmandy Foundation, LinkTogether Foundation, Genus Capital, VIA Rail and countless David Suzuki Foundation donors.