How one group is helping butterflies find their way

Marilyn Walsh, Butterfly Way ambassador and Beach Garden Society member, shows off signs created by the local Girl Guides for the garden bed on Queen Street East which they will be planting with pollinators and maintaining. PHOTO: Anna Killen

A beautiful partnership has emerged between several local groups and a national environmental organization.

The Beach Garden Society (BGS) is working with local groups like the Beach Village BIA, the Beaches Rec Centre, the Toronto Tool Library,  the Toronto 188 Girl Guide group and more, in coordination with the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterfly Way project, a new initiative which aims to provide safe spaces for pollinators along their entire migration route. It’s important for pollinators to have a continuous corridor through our urban centres, they say, and Butterfly Way is one way to make that happen.

The Beach is one of only a few communities tapped for the pilot project.

BGS member Marilyn Walsh recently completed training as a Butterfly Way ranger. She’s thrilled about the various projects taking shape, particularly the work that will see the raised bed on Queen Street East outside of Kew Beach School transformed into a pollinator garden by the girl guides, with the help of various groups.

“Lots of organizations are getting together around this,” she said. “That’s one of the things that makes this project really special.”

The garden society is providing worm compost for pollinating plants in the garden, as well as advising on which plants will flourish on the site.

“One of the things I’m excited about is that it will make people appreciate their neighbourhood more,” she said of the vision for the sites. Add in the benefits to the environment by providing help for pollinators, and you have functional, beneficial beautification.

Tonight, May 16, learn about the initiatives at the Beach Garden Society’s regular meeting, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Adam Beck Community Centre, 79 Lawlor Ave. Learn how your garden can be on a planned map of local pro-pollinator gardens.

Then, support the Beach Garden Society and these projects – and pick up some plants for a pro-pollinator garden – at the society’s annual plant sale, May 20 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., also at Adam Beck Community Centre. There will be a special expanded section of native plants this year.

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