Fletchers Creek SNAP Helps Pollinators Thrive

two young people sitting beside a newly planted treebeside

Working Hard for Pollinators

Have you ever heard of a pollinator highway? There’s one right here in the Credit River Watershed and pollinators are cruising. Together, in partnership with the City of Brampton, the Region of Peel, local schools and the local community in the Fletchers Creek SNAP neighbourhood, we’re creating a pollinator highway, also called a butterflyway. It’s network of butterfly and pollinator-friendly gardens.

Pollinators play an important role in sustaining our ecosystems and our food supply by transferring pollen to support plant reproduction and can serve as indicators for changing environmental conditions. Pollinators in our cities include butterflies, bees, birds, beetles, flies, bats and more.

The Fletchers Creek SNAP neighbourhood is home to many pollinators including the nationally endangered monarch butterfly.

The pollinator highway initiative is inspired by neighbourhood residents’ love for butterflies and the David Suzuki Foundation, to create and enhance space that provides food and shelter for pollinators.

Since 2017, nearly 10,000 native plants have been planted in the neighbourhood. This includes about 7,000 wildflowers, grasses and sedges and about 3,000 trees and shrubs on school grounds, along roadways, in residential gardens and in public parks.

Neighbourhood residents create landscapes for pollinators

CVC staff and resident kneeling while gardening.
CVC staff help residents plant wildflowers in their front yard.

We’re supporting residents in creating beautiful and vibrant gardens that attract and support local butterflies and pollinators. We offer free sustainable gardening workshops and plant giveaways for urban homeowners. Residents have planted close to 170 wildflowers and over a 100 native trees and shrubs in their home gardens.

Volunteers help convert mowed areas to natural landscapes

Drone view of volunteers planting wildflowers in open area next to road.
Volunteers plant wildflowers in no-mow area of Cowton Meadow.

Designated a Bee City, the City of Brampton is increasing pollinator-friendly spaces by leading the Don’t Mow, Let it Grow initiative. In neighbourhood parks like Fred Kline Park, Chris Gibson Park and Cowton Meadow, select areas of public land covered by turf grass are now left to convert into a natural landscape. Hundreds of volunteers have planted over 2,600 native trees and shrubs and over 130 native wildflowers.

Students and youth are leading the charge

Two students posing for a photo
Students plant flowering plants at Our Lady of Fatima rain garden.

Since 2019, over 400 students from Glendale Public School and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School have helped co-design school gardens and plant close to 3,000 new native wildflowers, grasses, trees and shrubs as part of Glendale Rain Garden project and Students for Stormwater project.

In addition, over 700 youth have planted and maintained 2,054 native trees and shrubs, removed invasive species and removed litter from parks like Chris Gibson, Fred Kline and Cowton Family Meadow.

Garden along side of road
Haggert Avenue Bioswale featuring native flowers, grasses and trees.

City of Brampton and Region of Peel are managing stormwater along roadways

Through innovative stormwater management projects, we are working with the City of Brampton and Region of Peel to slow down, soak up and filter stormwater before it enters Fletchers Creek. This bioswale on Haggert Avenue has over 3,000 native plants.

Butterfly gardens and pollinator-friendly spaces boost local diversity, protect our food systems, and build a more healthy, sustainable and climate ready community. They offer  residents and visitors a place to observe and enjoy pollinators and beautiful natural landscapes.

Initiatives to create the butterfly highway are part of the Fletchers Creek Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) To get the latest updates and to get involved, sign-up for the Fletchers Creek SNAP monthly e-newsletter.

Have you seen butterflies using the butterfly gardens? Share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tooba Shakeel, Senior Coordinator, Sustainable Neighbourhoods

Comments (2)

  1. I grow many pollinator-friendly flowers in my yard, but this season I’ve lost at least half of them to rabbits who love to nip off the stems long before the plants flower. The rabbits seem to love native flowering plants like black-eyed-susans and white clover best! Any suggestions?

    1. Credit Valley Conservation

      Hi Bette-Ann – That’s so great that you’re growing pollinator-friendly native plants in your yard. We hear about rabbit issues a lot!

      The clover will grow back, and it will be difficult to protect a large patch of it, but for your flowering plants, and any newly planted trees and shrubs, we suggest spraying them with a product called “bobbex”. It’s harmless, but it smells bad to rabbits and deer. The smell becomes unnoticeable to humans after a few hours. It can be found at your local hardware store.

      If you’re looking for more information on garden care and maintenance, check out our handy guides: Native Prairie and Meadow Gardens (https://cvc.ca/wp-content/uploads//2021/07/12-205-prairiemeadow-booklet-web.pdf) and Caring for Your New Tree or Shrub (https://cvc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/com_LOR_caring-for-tree-shrub_factsheet_f_20200928.pdf)

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