The Mississauga water tower field was once the feeding station for hundreds of thousands of monarch butterflies before they continued their journey to Mexico. Monarch butterflies are considered endangered in Canada, fewer monarch butterflies made it to Mexico this year, and milkweed location affects monarch butterfly success.
On Saturday July 7th, over 140 community members gathered together on these treasured lands and using their hands and their hearts, they helped us put plants in the ground to start the restoration process in order to encourage the monarchs to return to the site.
The significance of this project goes well beyond the planting process. In order to have a healthy planet, we need youth to understand the value of conservancy. An abundance of youth enthusiastically participated in this event and learned about preservation of nature, butterflies and other species. They learned about teamwork and the value of working with the community to accomplish a common goal that increases the wellbeing of people and the planet.
“we just experienced the monarch project, it was amazing, I think the Small Arms is going to be an amazing community outreach. ”
-Dana Manoliu , local community member
“I thought it was a good idea to plant because then we can have our own nature preserve and then we can have butterflies there. “
-Youth community member
“Were planting milkweed. It’s the butterflies that were trying to bring back because they always used to be by the water tower but now they are gone so were trying to bring them back because it’s a community mission were trying to do.”
-Youth community member.
Families were encouraged to bring non-perishable food items upon registration to donate to the Compass food bank in Port Credit and we are pleased to have been able to incorporate this into the community project.
Community support was phenomenal, as we received many inspired comments and emails explaining how important this project was and how much it meant to them. Social media engagement rates went up 40-60% prior and during the event. This was the first environmental community event held by SAS and 58 tickets sold by word of mouth alone before we began advertising. By the event date we had sold out. The community has spoken!
This project received a very high reach, as it was blasted through social media channels and was advertised LIVE on CTV News Toronto. This gave a high degree of awareness about SAS, TRCA, CVC, City of Mississauga and the David Suzuki Foundation and the impact that our environmental initiatives can have.
Relationships have been strengthened between all partners involved and we look forward to working together in the future as we aim to enhance the wellbeing of community members and our city through community engagement and impactful environmental projects!
If you are interested in participating in future projects, check out our Get Involved page.