by Lisa Medd

Butterflies and native bees are being welcomed to touch down in Vanier and make it their home. This spring, Vanier became part of the Canada-wide Butterflyway Project, an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation to support local communities to create more habitat for pollinators. The Beautification Committee of the Vanier Community Association is sponsoring the project and several residents have signed on as Butterflyway recruits.

Lisa Medd, who is volunteering, explains “by planting pollinator-friendly patches throughout our community we can help create a wildlife corridor for butterflies and other pollinators.”  The Butterflyway project is one effort to reverse the decline of bee and butterfly populations.

A big part of welcoming butterflies and native bees to our parks, planters and gardens is to use native plants that serve as food or host plants for pollinators. The Fletcher Wildlife Garden, an incredible Ottawa resource on native plants, kindly donated 70 native seedlings to the Vanier Butterflyway Project. These plants are being cared for in some Vanier planters and volunteers’ gardens, the start of growing a  butterflyway. Keep an eye out for the Butterflyway signs in the neighbourhood and see what plants are aflutter with pollinators.

The VCA is also hopeful for opportunities to create pollinator patches in the re-development of the Kingsview and Riverrain parks.  Vanier business are welcomed to get involved too, and the Vanier BIA has expressed support for the project.

If you haven’t already put out a welcome mat for butterflies and other pollinators, why not start now?  For more information or to get involved, email

Appreciation is extended to the McArthur Loblaw’s, whose donation to the VCA has helped to purchase soil, mulch and plants for the Vanier planters.

Adding native plants to Vanier street planters as part of the trans-Canada Butterflyway Project initiated by the David Suzuki Foundation. Photo – and garden care – by Lynne Zeitouni.

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