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PICKS OF THE WEEK: Make 'butterflyway rangers' proud with these reads

Latest BWG library Picks of the Week are all about accommodating butterflies, insects

The Butterflyway Project is a volunteer-led movement that’s bringing nature home to neighbourhoods throughout Canada, one butterfly-friendly planting at a time.

The Butterflyway Project, and its sister, L’effet Papillon campaign in Quebec, began in five Canadian cities in 2017. They recruited a team of volunteer “butterflyway rangers” in each community, whose mission was to plant native wildflowers in yards, schoolyards, streets, and parks to support bees and butterflies. The goal was to establish local “butterflyways” by planting at least a dozen pollinator patches in each neighbourhood.

For more information, please go to the David Suzuki Foundation site at or email Bradford’s butterflyway ranger, Kathy Howitt, at [email protected].

With the assistance of local butterflyway ranger Kathy Howitt and the Healthy Communities Committee of the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, the BWG Public Library is promoting the Butterflyway Project and encouraging residents to plant their own butterflyway gardens. The BWG Public Library will be hosting its own garden and will be distributing butterflyway seed kits with five species of native plants that attract butterflies and instructions for planting your own butterflyway garden.

For more information about creating butterfly-friendly gardens, please check out these books:

Attracting Birds and Butterflies: How to Plant a Backyard Habitat to Attract Winged Wildlife by Barbara W. Ellis

A quick-reference guide to attracting birds and butterflies for gardeners with little experience and time.

Creating a garden that welcomes these creatures may seem like a confusing and complicated task, but the principles involved are relatively simple. Essentially, wildlife needs food, water, and shelter, just like we do, and this lavishly illustrated guide shows which plants attract which creatures, and how to plant and care for them.

Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects by the Xerces Society

Welcome the world’s most exquisite visitors to your garden. Gardening for Butterflies, by the experts at the Xerces Society, introduces you to a variety of butterflies who need our help, and shows you how to design a habitat where they will thrive. This optimistic call to arms is packed with everything you need to create a beautiful, pollinator-friendly garden. You will learn why butterflies matter, why they are in danger, and what simple steps we can take to make a difference. You’ll also learn how to choose the right plants and how to create a garden that flutters and flourishes with life.

Gardening for Birds, Butterflies and Bees: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard by editors of Birds and Blooms

Whether you’re installing a new garden bed or trying to attract orioles for the first time, it helps to start with the right information. And here it is. In this book, experts and readers from North America’s No. 1 bird and garden magazine, Birds and Blooms, give their tried-and-true advice.

The Art of Butterfly Gardening: How to Make Your Backyard into a Beautiful Home for Butterflies by Mathew Tekulsky

This guide will teach you everything you need to get started. Whether you’re a suburban resident, the owner of a small urban garden, an apartment dweller, or a keeper of a country estate, you can enjoy frequent butterfly visits to your garden or window box. The key, Tekulsky believes, is learning some basic knowledge of butterfly characteristics and behaviour and knowing how to meet the needs of the butterfly species most common in your neighbourhood.

Butterfly Gardening: The North American Butterfly Association Guide by Jane Hurwitz

Whether you are a gardener who wants to see more butterflies in your garden, a butterfly enthusiast who wants to bring that passion to the garden, or someone who simply wants to make your garden or yard friendlier to monarchs or other butterflies, this is a must-have guide.