The Butterflyway Project

The Butterflyway Project is a volunteer-led movement that is growing habitat for bees and butterflies in neighbourhoods throughout Canada.

Wild pollinators such as butterflies and bees are crucial to human survival. Climate change, land development and pesticide use threaten their survival, and therefore ours as well. The Butterflyway Project helps people create viable pollinator habitat in neighbourhoods across Canada.

The David Suzuki Foundation is committed to helping Canadians rewild their neighbourhoods. Here is a list of additional pollinator and native plant gardening resources.

About the Butterflyway Project

In 2017, David Suzuki Foundation initiated the Butterflyway Project, and its sister L’effet Papillon campaign in Quebec, in five Canadian cities. This volunteer-led movement brings nature home to neighbourhoods, one butterfly-friendly garden at a time.

From inception to 2022, the foundation trained 1,200 Butterflyway Rangers in hundreds of communities across Canada. Rangers then connected with neighbours to create habitat gardens in residential yards, school and corporate grounds, boulevards and parks. When 12 or more patches are established, a new Butterflyway is born.

Here is a summary of Ranger accomplishments up to 2022:

  • More than 100,000 native wildflowers and grasses planted
  • Approximately 2,500 trees and shrubs planted
  • 7,000 habitat gardens established
  • 91 Butterflyways established (A Butterflyway is 12 or more habitat gardens in close proximity.)

The Butterflyway Project is based on our Homegrown National Park Project, an award-winning project that created butterfly-friendly corridors in three Toronto neighbourhoods from 2013 to 2015. In 2020, the Butterflyway Project received the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Nature Inspiration Award. Project popularity surged in 2021, with 1,000 Canadians applying to become Butterflyway Rangers. Demand remained high in 2022, with another 1,000 applicants.

Apply to be a Butterflyway Ranger

2023 Ranger Recruitment is now open! It’s that exciting time of year when we grow the Butterflyway Project by welcoming more Rangers into the fold. Recruitment runs from Monday, Jan. 30th to Monday, Feb. 13th. This year the application form is available in English and French. Note: Existing Butterflyway Rangers do not need to reapply. You are a Ranger forever unless you tell us otherwise.

The Butterflyway Project

This map includes some of the many habitat gardens and Butterflyways planted and tended to by Butterflyway Rangers and their teams.

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