Making A Difference One Flutter At A Time…
World-renowned philanthropist and Canadian activist, David Suzuki is the man behind the Butterflyway Project. David has made it his mission to create sustainable environments and habitats for some of the nation’s hardest workers, our beloved pollinators. Wild pollinators, including butterflies and bees, are crucial to human survival. Humanity relies on them and they ask nothing in return. Suzuki took the initiative to create a group of individuals who work on a voluntary basis in creating safe, pesticide-free habitats that encourage wildlife to prosper and nurture our mighty workers.
The Butterflyway Project, and its sister organization in Quebec, L’effet Papillon, was founded in 2017 by the David Suzuki Foundation. The Project sprouted in five Canadian Cities and has encouraged a movement of volunteers to help make a difference in a time when we face climate change and many other environmental factors.
Butterflyways are patches of land built to nurture local pollinators. Complete with an abundance of plants and nutrients, the spaces shelter, grow and provide fresh water for all of nature’s hard workers. Jode Roberts, manager of the Butterflyway Project and a caring environmentalist, speaks on the benefits of creating these gardens. “Creating butterfly friendly gardens in our neighbourhoods provides both an opportunity to connect us with nature nearby and creates much-needed space for local critters.”
Since embarking on this journey, the Foundation has successfully trained over 1,200 Butterflyway Rangers in hundreds of communities across Canada. The impact one member has on their community creates a wave of change reminiscent of the renowned butterfly effect. Rangers connect with neighbours and friends to plant community gardens in residential yards, schools, parks and corporate grounds. The work that goes into these projects create a web of change. Once 12 patches have been established, a new Butterflyway is born!
Despite their charm and beauty, pollinators like bees and butterflies have become scarce, necessitating a call to action for everyone on the planet. Roberts speaks on the importance of change. “Insects like wild bees and butterflies are in trouble. It is estimated that insect populations have declined worldwide by 45 per cent in the past 40 years.” So, what can we do to help? “The Butterflyway Project is a citizen-led effort to create butterfly corridors through neighbourhoods across the country, one fun planting at a time.”
Encouraging change is now easier than ever, with the initiative holding their annual recruitment, which hopes to grow the community of Rangers, from Jan. 30th to Feb. 13th, 2023.