Looking to help our Monarch population make a comeback? The helpful tips below were posted on our website following our presentation of Flight of the Butterflies on Sept. 22, 2016, as part of our Eco-film Festival.
The film is about the remarkable Monarch butterfly migration, the most incredible migration on Earth, and the determined Toronto scientist who spent 40 years trying to discover exactly where the butterflies mysteriously disappeared when they flew south for winter. More here.
A big thank you to guest speaker Sean James of Fern Ridge Landscaping for joining us to speak afterward about monarchs and making your own pollinator garden. Thanks as well to Niagara Parks for donating two great door prizes of a free pass to the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory.
Inspired by the film? Here's what you can do
Read and learn more:
- Learn about the film and monarchs on the official film website here.
- Learn more about Dr. Fred Urquhart's and wife Norah's research here, and monarchs here (Wikipedia).
- Learn more on the Monarch Watch website here.
- Read more about pollinator gardens on the film website here.
- Read about the monarch population's struggle for survival and its decline of over 80% since the 1990s. Toronto Star article "Saving the Monarch Butterfly" here.
- Read about monarchs on David Suzuki Foundation's resourceful monarch FAQ page.
- Visit the Urquhart Butterfly Garden in Dundas (Centennial Park) to hopefully view butterflies and maybe get ideas for your own garden. The garden is named after Fred and Norah Urquhart who spent over 38 years researching monarch migration, leading to the discovery of their overwinter destination in Mexico in 1975, for which they received the Order of Canada.
- Visit the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory to view a variety of butterflies up close -- a great way to get kids interested.
Take Action. Help support and replenish the monarch population:
- Pledge and sign the David Suzuki Foundation's Monarch Manifesto to help protect and restore the monarch population.
- Plant milkweed in your garden or in planters on your balcony. Local organizations sell milkweed plants and seeds each spring (eg. David Suzuki Foundation, Oakvillegreen, Terra Burlington Garden Centre, Connon Nurseries. Ask at your local garden centre).
- Use the Grow Me Instead garden guide to determine more pollinator friendly plants to grow in your garden that are suitable for our region (search "butterfly" in the guide). If you feel you need professional assistance in your garden, you can reach out to Fern Ridge Landscaping and Consulting to enquire about their services.
- Consider raising monarch butterflies and releasing them. Learn more and order kits here.
- Watch for any invasive species pulls which plan to remove "dog strangling vine" (detrimental to monarch reproduction) that you can get involved in.
- Spread the word to gardeners you know, or anyone that may be interested in protecting butterflies, and convince them to plant milkweed!