The award-winning Butterflyway Project marked its seventh year in 2023, and we couldn’t be happier about the increasing enthusiasm and action. Rangers spread their pollinator and native plant love at community events, daycare centres, schools and workplaces, as well as over garden fences and on sidewalks with passersby.
Together they planted 6,300 native wildflowers and grasses and 400 native trees and shrubs in 200-plus gardens, and completed 28 new Butterflyways, which are collections of 12 or more habitat gardens in close proximity. A list of Butterflyways completed in 2023 can be found below. As of fall 2023, the total number of Butterflyways across the country is 119. Some of these gardens and Butterflyways are featured on the project map, found here.
Rangers are the public face and heart of the Butterflyway Project. They are community builders and nature lovers, artists and scientists, novice and master gardeners and everything in between.
Rangers are the public face and heart of the Butterflyway Project. They are community builders and nature lovers, artists and scientists, novice and master gardeners and everything in between. What they share is a commitment to work together on pollinator protection and advocacy in their communities. In 2023 we recruited 750 new Rangers, bringing the total to 1,450.
As in past years, the David Suzuki Foundation provided Rangers with online training in native plants, pollinators, eco-friendly gardening and community organizing, and facilitated networking through virtual meetings and social media. Rangers, however, quickly took the lead on connecting, and generously shared seeds, plants, knowledge and ideas with one another.
Volunteering with the Butterflyway Project is an antidote to the despair caused by society’s dire and complex challenges. Rangers consistently speak about the restored hope that comes from connecting with one another, with neighbours and with nature. The testimonials below demonstrate the power of this little project that keeps on growing.
“I was initially overwhelmed when I joined the project this spring, but quickly made connections in my neighbourhood and began to see how a shared interest in native plants and conservation builds a strong community.” Ranger Christine, Huron-Kinloss Township, Ontario
“As a solo Ranger in northern Ontario, I appreciate helping to restore the monarch flyway, consisting of common milkweed plants, that used to naturally exist between Barrie and Smooth Rock Falls.” Ranger Gloria, Porcupine, Ontario
“This project has brought my neighbours together in a way that I have never seen before. A diversity of people and groups joined and are already planning their 2024 activities. I received city permission to install gardens along the seawall and will design a self-guided walking tour of them in partnership with Indigenous groups.” Ranger Dolores, Vancouver, B.C.
“This project has ignited our community in making a difference. Everyone is so eager to do what is right and learn how to do so. My Ranger role has become almost a full-time job for me and my adult son on the spectrum. We are meeting new people and sharing the excitement of making a difference.” Ranger Micole, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario
“I joined the project in spring 2023 and set-up a Facebook group for my community. As soon as I did this, neighbours started getting in touch. Turns out, they were just as anxious and hopeful for change as I was! My experience as a Ranger has restored my faith in grassroots action.” Ranger Dawn, Penticton, B.C.
Butterflyways completed in 2023:
Anne’s Avenue Butterflyway, Pictou and Area, NS
Coldwater Butterflyway , Coldwater, ON
Cooks Creek Butterflyway, Cooks Creek, MB
East Algoma North Channel Corridor Butterflyway, East Algoma, ON
Glen Strae Sanctuary Butterflyway, Prices Corner, ON
Jardin École élémentaire L’Envol, Quinte West, ON
Jardin Plateau +, Montréal, QC
Kelowna Sunrise Rotary Pollinator Garden Butterflyway, Kelowna, BC
Kits Point Butterflyway, Kitsilano, BC
Lake Albrin Park and Neighbourhood Butterflyway, Winnipeg, MB
Laurenwood Farm Butterflyway, Loretto, ON
Leaside Butterflyway, Toronto, ON
Manotick Butterflyway, Manotick, ON
McKellar Park Community Butterflyway, Ottawa, ON
Memengway Way Butterflyway, Naotkamegwanning First Nation/Pawitik, ON
Montford Butterflyway, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC
Moon River Butterflyway, Willow Creek, AB
Moosehorn-Hilbre Butterflyway, Hilbre, MB
Ormstown Butterflyway, Ormstown, QC
OSEAN-Alta Vista/Heron Park Butterflyway, Ottawa, ON
OSEAN-Riverside/Hunt Club Butterflyway, Ottawa, ON
OSEAN-Riverview/Elmvale/Urbandale Butterflyway, Ottawa, ON
Sheree Sunshine Chantler’s Durham Region Butterflyway, Ajax, ON
Taylor Massey Butterflyway, Toronto, ON
The Caledon Butterflyway, Bolton, ON
The Lions Bay Butterflyway, Lions Bay, BC
The Rotary Club of Sechelt Butterflyway, Sechelt, BC
Wing Way – Victoria Park South Butterflyway, Kitchener, ON
Ranger recruitment for 2024 will take place in late January. Please follow the David Suzuki Foundation on social media and sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed.
The Butterflyway Project is proudly supported by national partner Cascades, with additional support from the Chamandy Foundation and Genus Capital Management.