Inspired by the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project, Craig and Anka Cassar are doing their part to support biodiversity.
Back in the spring, the Cassars joined forces with 12 other Butterflyway Ranger volunteers in Hamilton and are helping residents and businesses establish their own pollinator gardens.
Natural pollinators, such as butterflies and bees, have been threatened by climate change, pesticides and habitat loss. According to the United Nations, about one-third of the world’s crops depend upon pollinators.
The Cassar family is making it easier for others to start their own pollinator gardens. Over the last few weeks, the Ancaster family has been giving away free pollinator plants, such as common milkweed, pale purple coneflower, wild columbine, New England aster, blue-stem goldenrod and many others. The plants not only look great in gardens but also help promote essential pollinators.
The Pollinator Paradise Project is a partnership between the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and Environment Hamilton.
Through donations to the project, the team has purchased 1,800 native plants that are not only available free of charge but also come with free advice and labour for those that need help planting them.
Sixteen varieties of pollinator plants are available in total. The Cassars recently held an open house to distribute some of the plants and still have plenty of inventory available.
“Since we are giving the plants away for free, we are asking participants to consider paying it forward by making a donation through our local partner, the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club,” said Craig.
The family held an open house recently and put the free plant offer on Facebook and Instagram. They hope all of the plants can find homes over the next few weeks.
“We want to put the word out there and get more people involved,” said Craig.
To express an interest, or for more information, email HamiltonButterflies@gmail.com.