Helping bring back the butterflies
On September 29, PortsToronto got together with students from Kiwanis Boys and Girl Club and Voice Integrative School to expand the butterfly garden initiative at the Outer Harbour Marina. Just in time for the Monarch butterflies’ fall migration, the garden is designed to help support their threatened populations.
Every year, Monarch butterflies migrate south along the shores of the Great Lakes before making their way to Mexico for the winter season. However, the number of Monarch butterflies completing the journey have reached record lows over the past couple years. This is partially due to the loss of native plants, such as milkweed, that serve as the butterflies’ primary food source along their route.
In an effort to help bring back the Monarchs, students ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 6 rolled up their sleeves to plant approximately 1,200 plants over the course of an afternoon. Designed by Evergreen Canada, the new 700-square foot garden features several species of native plants that provide food and perching areas for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators, as well as an avian habitat for the wide variety of birds that use the Leslie Street Spit as a critical stopover point during seasonal migration.
Through its environmental mandate to protect natural habitats, PortsToronto is also involved in several other nature-building and preservation initiatives, including the Tommy Thompson Park Wetland Creation Project in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, as well as promoting the Port of Toronto as an environmentally-friendly alternative for shipping goods to Toronto. Learn more about PortsToronto’s environmental initiatives here