Sandy Casselman
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

MORRISBURG – “Everybody loves butterflies,” said Municipality of South Dundas Coun. Don Lewis.

Lewis made the statement in response to a letter in the April 12 council meeting agenda introducing the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry (SDG) Butterflyway Project. Mayor Steven Byvelds had pulled the item for discussion because he said he felt it was important that South Dundas staff and residents be aware of the initiative.

“I know each and every one of us cares about South Dundas,” he said, noting the benefit to the environment.

Deputy Mayor Kirsten Gardner said she was glad the mayor pulled the letter for discussion and added that she thought the project was a great idea. All three councillors agreed.

“I think this is a great thing,” Coun. Lloyd Wells said. “Something like this would be very interesting just to put in the backyard. It’s good. I like what I see.”

The two-page letter was addressed to every member of council. It outlined the project’s purpose and what the municipality might do to help.

“As ambassadors of this important initiative, our volunteer role involves recruiting individuals, businesses, municipalities, and others to create ‘pollinator patches,’ thereby building a new pathway for our local pollinators (insects, bees, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, etc.) and working together to replace vital habitat lost through urban development, clear cutting, roadside cutting, herbicides, and climate change,” Christina Enright and Carole Fiddler said in their letter on behalf of the SDG Butterflyway Project.

Chosen by the David Suzuki Foundation to lead the 2021 Butterflyway Project for SDG, the duo said pollinator patches can be any size, but must include at least 50 per cent native plants, flowers, shrubs, or trees. A list was attached to the letter for clarification. Signage, to build project awareness, is available to participants for a small cost-recovery fee. In addition to telling residents about the project, council was urged to challenge ten South Dundas businesses to create pollinator patches.

“If staff ever thinks they have a project that blends into this, we can join forces,” Byvelds said. “Collaboration is a good thing. Staff is now aware council is on board with this.”

Enright and Fiddler said that at the end of the season they will be producing a report for the David Suzuki Foundation. It will include the number of active participants in SDG, the number and location of pollinator patches added, and the number and varieties of plants, flowers, bushes, and trees added. The SDG Butterflyway Project can be found on Facebook.