It takes a community to build a garden. Or, for the residents of Beddington Heights, a Butterflyway.
In the spring of this year, residents of the northwest community began planting butterfly-friendly gardens throughout their neighbourhood.
The community planting project was spearheaded by volunteers from the Reimagine Beddington Committee, part of the Beddington Heights Community Association (BCHA).
Volunteers were recruited as Butterflyway Rangers when the project began.
Today, the patchwork of 33 wildflower-filled plantings is known as the “Beddington Butterflyway.” It’s the first official Butterflyway in Alberta.
“We are excited that the Beddington Butterflyway is the first one in the province,” said David Mulders, a volunteer Butterflyway Ranger and member of BCHA’s Reimagine Beddington Committee.
“Our community came together during these uncertain times to beautify the streets and yards of Beddington while helping local bees and butterflies thrive.”
The Butterflyway includes 23 plantings in yards and gardens and 10 community planters. It was created in collaboration with BHCA and the City of Calgary parks department. Long-blooming flowers and grasses were selected to support the city’s hundreds of bee and butterfly species throughout the spring and summer seasons.
“It has been truly inspiring to see what residents in Beddington have been able to accomplish this year,” said Jode Roberts, manager of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project.
“Ranger Dave and his team did a remarkable job of recruiting friends and neighbours to help transform their neighbourhood, one butterfly-friendly planting at a time.”
Keep on fluttering!
The community wants to keep expanding their butterfly attractor.
“We’re excited to see how the project continues to grow,” Mulders said.
“Creating a Butterflyway has been a great step toward reimagining our neighbourhood as a greener, healthier and more vibrant place. We encourage other residents to join the fun by creating their own Butterflyways.”
John McFaul, chair of Calgary’s BiodiverCity Advisory Committee said it’s the “perfect example” of what communities can do to improve their biodiversity.
He added that this is a model other neighbourhoods could adopt.
The Beddington Butterflyway is the 10th Butterflyway recognized by the David Suzuki Foundation since the project began in 2017.
This spring, the project was expanded to include Butterflyway Rangers in over 100 communities across the country. That included 10 communities in Alberta.