The other Sunday, four other families, my mother and I went on a butterfly in Lakeside park. This is a nice park close to St. Mary’s hospital with a long trail through a meadow area. We were armed with nets, jars and butterfly ID books. At first, we couldn’t see any butterflies, but once we started searching, we caught a lot of the same type of butterflies. The butterflies we caught were Clouded Sulfurs and Common Sootywings, and we saw one Swallowtail. The kids enjoyed catching the butterflies along with some white moths and grasshoppers.
One of the reasons there were not a large variety of butterflies could be the fact that there were not so many native plants in the area, but another reason is that the amount of butterflies in the city is shrinking. Some reasons for this in the K-W area could be the use of pesticides and herbicides on fields and gardens. Another reason could be a loss of habitat – the plants they need to survive are not abundant anymore. Without the butterflies and other pollinators, our gardens, forest and fields could become a weaker and smaller. Without pollinators, our crops like fruits and vegetables aren’t able to grow. In the future, without pollinators, our city could be in trouble.
We can all help bring back more butterflies to our cities by planting milkweed and other native plants in our gardens and not using pesticides and herbicides. (I saw a monarch on the milkweed plant in our front garden just this weekend!). We can encourage our city councils to put in these plants at parks and on roadsides and medians. At school we can form gardening clubs and plant flowers that attract butterflies, bees and birds. Both the City of Kitchener and rare host butterfly counts each year we can attend, which are fun and informative.
At our butterfly hike the kids had a great time running about the fields catching insects, and showing everyone what they caught. We visited the lake too and saw ducks, geese and a heron. It was fun to get out in the fresh air and learn about local species.
You can learn more about gardening for wildlife here: http://cwf-fcf.org/en/
Transition Families is a new sub-group of Transition KW, focused on bringing together families interested in low-carbon living.
We meet every month to experience Nature by:
– Hiking in local natural areas
– Learning to ID local plants and animals
– Tree Planting
– Cleaning up our environment
But most of all by Having Fun!!
Our next event promises to be a lot of fun!!
Elements of Forest Living – Why survive in the woods when nature offers so many tools for living in and enjoying the woods? Dylan Siebert of KW Forest School will introduce the elements of living the good life outdoors: fire, water, food, and shelter, in our very own Waterloo Park.
We’ll meet Sunday Aug 17, 2pm at the Westmount Road entrance to Waterloo Park. This will be a hands-on event for all ages; come prepared to get your hands dirty, rain or shine!