At the June 10th Council Meeting Richmond Hill Council passed Councillor David West's member motion to declare August 22nd Flight of the Monarch Day. This is an initiative that is being spearheaded locally by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and will feature activities for families to enjoy.
The Monarch Butterfly was on the verge of extinction a few years ago. The numbers of Monarchs overwintering in Mexico became dangerously low in the winter of 2013 and there was a real and imminent danger that this iconic and miraculous species was in danger of disappearing.
The efforts from Richmond Hill and other North American municipalities are paying off for the Monarch Butterfly. The species' recovery is still fragile and greater efforts to protect and create habitat as well as more public awareness of the Monarch Butterfly are needed to keep moving forward.
Over the years Richmond Hill has planted almost 2000 milkweed plants on public land and has promoted plantings on private property through programs like Healthy Yards and the Mill Pond Splash.
Richmond Hill's efforts have also included the restoration of almost 50 acres of land with native trees, shrubs and flowering species.
RH has hosted many public programs aimed at educating people about Monarch butterflies and other pollinating species.
Last fall during Councillor West's first annual Ward 4 Richmond Hill Ecofest, Richmond Hill also partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation's Butterflyway Project to plant a native plant garden at the Mill Pond.