Butterflyways bloom from British Columbia to the Maritimes

Butterflyway Canoe Garden

“Creativity grows community. Ranger Aiden dreamed up the idea of planting wildflower-filled canoes along Toronto’s lost rivers and buried creeks,” Butterflyway Project lead Jode Roberts said. “Now people are ‘paddling with shovels’ all over.”

COVID-19 has caused tragic suffering. But it also reveals what’s possible when humanity slows down and discovers what’s important: loved ones, community, purpose — and healthy ecosystems.

As humans shelter in place, nature rejoices. Greenhouse gas emissions drop as people fly and drive less. Wildlife-in-the-city posts trend on social media.

And volunteer Butterflyway Rangers from B.C. to the Maritimes make sure the Butterflyway Project continues to soar.

A Butterflyway is a loosely connected corridor of wildflower patches through a neighbourhood. From a pollinator’s perspective, it’s a highway of habitat. Butterflyway Rangers’ work provides food and shelter for essential pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies.

During the pandemic:

  • We led online training for 251 new Butterflyway Rangers from 134 communities throughout Canada. They committed to plant pollinator-friendly gardens and recruit friends and neighbours.
  • Representatives from 265 schools attended our monthly Butterflyway School pilot project webinars.
  • More than 18,000 people pledged to create backyard bee habitat as Bee-bnb Superhosts.
  • One hundred households in Toronto studied wild bees in their backyards to support University of Toronto Scarborough research. B.C.-based citizen scientists tracked local butterflies with iNaturalist.
  • The Butterflyway Project won a 2020 Nature Inspiration Award from the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Butterflyway Rangers planted more pollinator patches. They hosted physically distanced garden tours and online meetings.  They promoted their important work on traditional and social media. They brought scores of new people into the movement. And they celebrated five new Butterflyways (in Calgary, Winnipeg, Collingwood, Halton Hills and Ottawa) and the first Butterflyway recognized by Google Maps (Butterflyway Lane in North Vancouver).

The Butterflyway community continues to grow from strength to strength. These groups protect pollinators. They also build human connections where they live and educate others.

Visit Butterflyways where you live. Find them here:

This map includes Butterflyway Rangers and Butterflyway Schools in 2020. Check for Rangers and schools in your community.

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