The Butterflyway Project is a volunteer-led movement that is taking concrete action to encourage the inclusion of butterfly-friendly plants throughout Canada. It is an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation. Started in five Canadian cities in 2017, Butterflyway Rangers were recruited to plant native wildflowers in yards, schools, parks, and along roadways, with the goal to establish Butterflyways by planting at least a dozen pollinator-friendly plant patches in each of the communities.
Since 2017, the Butterflyway Project has recruited and trained more than 1000 Butterflyway Rangers hailing from over 100 communities. Their goal is to connect with neighbours, schools, city agencies, businesses, and community groups. So far, these Butterflyway Rangers have helped plant 54,000 butterfly-friendly wildflowers, create over 1000 pollinator patches, and establish official Butterflyways in 15 communities.
This year, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry has two Butterflyway Rangers! Christina Enright of Williamsburg, and Carole Fiddler of Ingleside, have been selected by the David Suzuki Foundation to lead the 2021 Butterflyway Project in SDG. Their volunteer role consists of recruiting individuals, businesses, municipalities, and others to create small pollinator patches, which will help build a pathway for pollinators such as insects, bees, butterflies, bats, and hummingbirds. They also encourage working together to replace vital habitat lost through urban development, clearcutting, roadside cutting, herbicides, and climate change.
The Ambassadors wrote a letter to Mayor and Council asking that the township help create a Township Pollinator Patch in North Dundas. They explain that a pollinator patch can be any size or dimension, un-bordered or within a container (such as an old canoe, water trough, or wheelbarrow), with at least 50% native plants. They included a list of native flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees that are native to SDG within their letter. They are making Butterflyway signage available for a small fee to participants to help identify Butterflyway pollinator patches. Signage will help raise awareness about the initiative.
They also ask that the Mayor and Council challenge ten businesses within the township to create pollinator patches of their own, and to let residents of North Dundas know about this project, and share the fact that North Dundas is participating.
At the end of the summer, the Ambassadors will be preparing a detailed report for the David Suzuki Foundation, including the number of active Butterflyway Project participants in SD&G in 2021, the number and location of pollinator patches added, and the number and varieties of plants, flowers, bushes, and trees planted.
The letter regarding the Butterflyway Project of SDG from the Ambassadors of the project, Christina Enright and Carole Fiddler, to the Mayor and Councilors of North Dundas, was accepted without discussion, to be received and filed, as part of the Consent Agenda at the regular Council meeting of the Township on April 27. Prior to passing the Consent Agenda regarding the Butterflyway Project, Mayor Fraser said: “I am looking forward to council supporting the project when it comes forward. It’s a project that again…[is] about pollinators and roadside beautification…protecting and ensuring that trees are looked after…that we continue doing the best we can with that. I’m sure we will have more discussion on the butterfly project in the near future.”