Maybe, maybe not. It’s the end of May and hopefully you haven’t been mowing. The No Mow May campaign encourages people with lawns to let them grow during the month of May to let insects and other critters thrive. This makes sense, and if you have a lawn then you still let it go during May.
If you’re fortunate enough to have access to land that you can alter to your preference then you may want to think about what plants you have. The best solution to help the planet and make your life easier is to plant native plants.
“There’s so much good intention out there,” she explains, but No Mow May oversimplifies the complex relationships between native pollinators and the plants that support them. “(There’s) all of this misinformation that comes from not understanding what a native bee is versus a non-native bee, what a native spring plant is versus a non-native spring plant.”
Instead of ditching our lawn mowers, Sheila says we should learn more about native pollinators and plants in the places we live and how they help one another in nature. Last year, sheco-wrote a bookalongside writer, editor and community advocate Lorraine Johnson that unpacks the complexity of native pollinators and how to create habitats that support them.
If you planted native species in your garden then you deserve a pat on the shoulder. Your efforts have helped the butterflies return from dangerously low population levels. In Toronto we’ve seen the mass return of butterflies and it’s thanks to efforts by people and educational groups ensuring that pollinators get the food they need. It also helps hold back invasive species by helping native ones and therefore ensuring we don’t lose our biodiversity. If you haven’t planted native species – don’t worry the year isn’t over yet!
Monarch butterfliesÂ are flying all over the city, and many people are wondering how that’s possible afterÂ the species’ populationÂ reached an all-time low in 2010.
“Best guess is that the push in gardening for planting butterfly friendly plants and leaving milkweed alone has been successful. People are becoming more conscious of what they plant in their gardens and it’s a really fantastic positive change,” one user wrote.
Every pollinator is beautiful and there is an easy way to see more of them while helping the world: butterflyways. The concept is simple: bees and butterflies are under a lot of pressure from human activity so help them on their pollination journey by feeding them. All you have to do is look up what pollinators love in your local area then plant a small garden for them, then tell others. By combining efforts with other gardeners or community groups you can create a pleasant route for our little friends.
In May and June, activities ranged from creating butterfly-themed costumes and a bike-trailer garden that won second prize in a Victoria parade, to adopting city parks in Richmond. In Markham and Toronto, Rangers built on a project started through the foundationâ€™s Homegrown National Park Project, installing a dozen wildflower-filled canoes in parks, schools and daycares. In Torontoâ€™s west end, a pair of Rangers led the Butterflyway Lane art project, painting butterfly-themed murals on two dozen garage doors, walls and fences in a laneway facing Garrison Creek Park.
In late June, Torontoâ€™s Beaches neighbourhood and Richmond, B.C. surpassed the target of a dozen Ranger-led plantings, earning kudos from the foundation for creating Canadaâ€™s first Butterflyways. The project is spreading, with neighbouring city councillors and groups clamouring to get their own Butterflyways.