David Suzuki Foundation's #gotmilkweed campaign brings milkweed to the city this spring.
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TORONTO - As part of the Homegrown National Park Project, the David Suzuki Foundation will be selling milkweed plants for $5 each through its website (www.davidsuzuki.org/gotmilkweed) during April. Milkweed is the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on and the primary source of food for monarch caterpillars. Scientists throughout North America have identified milkweed planting as the most important action people can take to help support threatened monarch populations.
"Monarch butterflies are one of nature's true wonders, fluttering thousands of kilometres across North America despite weighing less than a paperclip," said Homegrown National Park Project team lead Jode Roberts. "Through the #gotmilkweed campaign we hope to inspire Torontonians to do their part to help the monarch by planting milkweed in their yards and on their balconies."
This winter, scientists raised alarms when numbers of monarchs overwintering in Mexico hit an all-time low. Severe weather and the virtual eradication of milkweed throughout much of their migratory path between Canada and Mexico have put the monarchs' epic migration back to Canada at risk.
During April, Torontonians can order milkweed plants for $5 or support the campaign by contributing $25 toward milkweed planting in schoolyards and parks in the city's west end by volunteer Homegrown Park Rangers.
"We urge Torontonians help make way for butterflies in their neighbourhoods," Roberts said. "Become a butterfly 'block captain' and inspire your neighbours to get planting. Encourage schools, churches, stores and other institutions to do the same. Help create a butterfly corridor through the city. Bring back the monarch butterflies, one milkweed plant at a time."
In support of the campaign, SK Films is presenting an exclusive IMAX® 3D screening of the award-winning film Flight of the Butterflies at Toronto's Scotiabank Theatre on Saturday, April 12.