Canadians have had a wacky, never-ending winter. It's been even worse for monarch butterflies. Their numbers overwintering in Mexico hit an all-time low. Severe weather and the virtual eradication of milkweed (the plant monarch mothers and caterpillars depend on) throughout much of their migratory path has put the monarchs' epic migration back to Canada at risk.
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That's why the David Suzuki Foundation launched #GotMilkweed in April 2014, as part of our Toronto-based Homegrown National Park Project.
On April 1, 2014, we began selling milkweed plants to residents as part of our effort to crowdsource a butterfly corridor right through the heart of the city, along the downtown west end's former Garrison Creek.
The demand for milkweed plants was overwhelming and we sold out of plants within the first two weeks of the campaign. For the lucky folks that ordered milkweed, they can pick them up at our Homegrown Native Plant Sale on Sunday, May 25th at Christie Pits Park between 12 and 5 p.m. The sale is organized by the North American Native Plant Society and will include great selection of native plants and shrubs.
How can you help?
If you didn't get your milkweed, we encourage you to head to your local nursery or garden centre. If they don't have milkweed in stock, ask them to order it.
When you get your milkweed, plant it in your garden or yard or on your balcony. Become a butterfly "block captain" and inspire your neighbours to get planting, too. And be sure to encourage schools, churches, stores and other institutions in your neighbourhood to do the same.
You can also still help by contributing $25 to the #GotMilkweed campaign. Our awesome team of Homegrown Park Rangers will plant milkweed on your behalf in schoolyards and parks throughout the Homegrown National Park.
Please join us. Help create a butterfly corridor through the city. Bring back the monarch butterflies, one milkweed plant at a time!