The goal of the David Suzuki Foundation‘s new Butterflyway Project is to provide food and shelter for butterflies and bees by establishing a network of wildflower patches through neighborhoods across Canada, starting in five cities in 2017.
The project has begun in neighbourhoods in Markham, Montreal, Richmond, Toronto, and Victoria. In each city they have recruited a team of community volunteers, called Butterflyway Rangers.
These local Rangers were trained by the David Suzuki Foundation in March and April, and have been sent back to their neighborhoods with a mission to plant networks of native wildflowers in yards, schools, streets and parks.
Once a troop of Rangers plants at least a dozen pollinator patches in their neighbourhood, they will formally be recognized by the foundation as an official Butterflyway, through signage and inclusion in our national Butterflyway Project map.
Jode Roberts, Toronto-based manager of the pollinator project with the David Suzuki Foundation, says the idea is to have a series of patches made out of what he called “bits of urban fabric.” He said even spaces on the edges of laneways, between buildings and pavement, could be used to plant wildflowers.
“What we’re hoping is that there are patches that butterflies could land on in your yard, then move to the next,” he said. “You can take any space and transform it.”
There are over 100 species of butterfly and 340 species of wild bees in Toronto alone.