Monarch butterflies are in trouble and they need our help. In the fall of 2014, a newly formed community group, “Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores” spearheaded by naturalists’, Melitta Smole, Stew Nutt and Kerry Jarvis was formed. We are determined to change this situation by planting milkweed and native plants to assist Monarchs and other pollinators. In our own little way, we believe that Saugeen Shores can make a difference in the lives of the Monarch butterflies by creating a natural butterfly habitat.
In the spring of 2015, the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, with many volunteers, planted over 1,400 native plants in a series of pods throughout Saugeen Shores. The largest pods are along the Lake Huron shoreline in the newly created Captain Spence Path in Southampton. Other pods are located at: Saugeen First Nation, MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Perkins Park, and the Bruce Count Museum and Cultural Centre. All of these pods have been certified and registered as Monarch Way Stations.
In the spring of 2016, the Butterfly Gardens of Saugeen Shores, created 3 new pods along the Saugeen Rail Trail, and 2 new pods at Perkins Park. Total number of pods now stands at 15. Over 750 native plants and 50 native shrubs were planted throughout the pods with the majority going to the newly created pods. Each of these pods are proudly and lovingly attended to by our Pod Squad Ambassadors. All pods have also been outfitted with identifying Pod sign posts. The map section on our web site identifies the exact location of each Pod.
2017 saw the creation of a new pod at Fairy Lake in Southampton and the ongoing education component of promoting; the plight of Monarch butterflies, the importance of planting native plants, and tips and techniques for successful butterfly gardening. The education component includes a regular column in the Shoreline Beacon newspaper, site visitations, community presentations, BGOSS web site, Facebook, Instagram and BGOSS programs such as Monarch tagging.