The Kingston Community Health Centres are getting involved with the “Butterflyway Challenge,” an initiative of the David Suzuki Foundation to create a habitat for local bees and butterflies.
She’ll be the first to tell you she’s not a master gardener, but what Steph Wheeler does know is that by planting wildflowers, she’s supporting pollinating insects and hopefully bringing people together.
“There’s a lot of disconnection during COVID and I want to reconnect the community,” Wheeler said.
And she’s doing so through the Butterflyway Challenge.
“Pollinators have declined over 70 percent in the last 30 years. So it’s important to have pollinators for us to produce fruits and vegetables — many of them need the pollination of insects to do that,” she said.
On Saturday Wheeler — a community development worker — was spreading the word as well as her wildflowers as she planted at a friend’s house. Judy Burrill is that friend and also a supporter of the challenge.
“Planting and taking care of flowers and seeing things come from seed are again, like Stephanie said, very hopefully things and to give somebody something pleasurable to look at,” Burrill said.
And it’s good for the environment. The movement is helping create habitat for local bees and butterflies, making Wheeler planting wildflowers a win-win.
“And I also want people to have hope — and what brings more hope than a flower? The blooming of a flower — the hope of something growing,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler and her team have put together a native plant guide, and are hoping more people take interest in the cause.