Monarch butterfly trail being built in Leamington
Leamington Monarch Trail gardens to provide food, habitat for migrating birds and monarch butterflies
A monarch butterfly trail is being developed in Leamington in an effort maintain and even boost monarch butterfly population.
Leamington and Parks Canada have teamed up to restore butterfly and bird habitat.
Community volunteers will remove invasive and non-native species and begin planting gardens of milkweed, native grasses and wildflowers.
The first phase of the project will happen along a 500-metre stretch of walking trail between Robson Road to Seacliff Drive, just east of Seacliff Park.
The Leamington Monarch Trail gardens will provide food and habitat for migrating birds and butterflies, especially monarch butterflies, to refuel before continuing on their long journey from Canada to Mexico, which includes a non-stop flight over Lake Erie.
Over 80 volunteers came out to help plant gardens of milkweed, native grasses & wildflowers <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LeamingtonMonarchTrail?src=hash">#LeamingtonMonarchTrail</a> <a href="http://t.co/z1Z7YCjqEd">pic.twitter.com/z1Z7YCjqEd</a>—@TweetLeamington
Leamington and Point Pelee National Park will continue to work together on the project, eventually planting gardens of milkweed and supporting plants along approximately five kilometres of urban trails within Leamington's 17-km trail system.
"Because Parks Canada is always exploring innovative ways to engage Canadians in conservation and restoration projects, we're really excited here at Point Pelee National Park to be working with the Municipality of Leamington to connect Canadians to nature. The native grasses, wildflowers and milkweed planted along the municipality's walking trails will not only attract birds and butterflies, but also offer Canadians natural spaces to connect with nature" Point Pelee National Park superintendent Karen Linauskas said in a media release.
The annual spring bird migration and fall monarch butterfly migration are major tourist attractions in Leamington and at Point Pelee.
"It is the municipality's vision that this project will help restore and support the large number of monarch butterflies that migrate through the Leamington area and create a natural spectacle to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike" town CAO Peter Neufeld said in a the release.