Calgary’s Beddington Heights is home to Alberta’s first Butterflyway

The Butterflyway project include 23 different plantings in yards and gardens in the northwest community

Dozens of planted areas were created in Beddington Heights to attract butterflies. CONTRIBUTED

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.

SUPPLIED by residents of Beddington Heights

 “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.

Map of the different butterflyway locations in Beddington Heights. CONTRIBUTED.

“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.”

SUPPLIED by residents of Beddington Heights

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.

3 Comments

  1. I’ve been admiring the beautiful gardens on my walks and would love to participate next year but seriously need help / advice for choosing plants.

    • One of the best things you can do is look at the native flowers of Alberta as a starting place for your garden, that gives a good source of food and habitat to the pollinators that are native to our area as many of the traditional garden flowers are from Europe or Asia. Things like Globe Thistle, Yarrow, Phlox and Delphinium are also good. Milkweed has many different varieties and colours and is also one of the only plants that the Monarch butterfly eats and lays its eggs on, making them essential for those species of butterflies. A list of plants for Western Canada can also be found on the David Suzuki website as a good starting point too! https://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/attract-butterflies-with-native-plants-western-canada/

    • Hi there Laurie!

      If you are interested, please send an e-mail to BeddingtonButterflies@gmail.com so that we can include you on our newsletter. I like to have gardening tips, plant selection tips, and species identification tips that we send out regularly. This may help you in the short term, and I look forward to having you as part of the project next year.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.