Local students Jordan-Anne Rich (Almonte) and Clara Misener (Perth) have been highlighted by the David Suzuki Foundations for their local contributions to the National Butterflyway project.
Their gardens are part of a national network of butterfly-friendly gardens throughout Canada that blossomed this year with the creation of over 60 new Butterflyways. The Butterflyways are citizen-created corridors of at least a dozen gardens filled with native wildflowers that support local pollinators like wild bees and butterflies.
Jordan-Anne and Clara initiated the Be-a-Bee Bud program which saw them plant pollinator patches on resident lawns in order to fund the creation and planting of community pollinator patches in parks, schools and nursing homes. They also have begun to construct Lanark Pollinator Walkways – on online mapping of pollinator gardens that residents will be able to follow and take inspiration for their own gardens.
Clara Misener says, “I will never forget the photos of monarch caterpillars and other pollinators thriving in the gardens we planted. Inspiring other people to plant their own gardens and seeing the positive impact that the gardens were making to help pollinators made me gratified.”
“A young girl came up to me one day while I was watering my community garden, she came to tell me how excited she is about the new pollinator garden here and how after seeing it she convinced her mom to plant a garden in their lawn too. She even named our garden ‘The Secret Garden’”, remembers Jordan-Anne Rich.
According to the Suzuki Foundations, pollinators ensure reproduction for more than 90 per cent of the world’s flowering plants. Yet invertebrate species have declined 45 per cent over the past four decades. Gardens have proven a critical food source for pollinators, and planting native wildflowers and shrubs can be an effective way to support these species that help us to live.