Latest Event Updates

Butterfly Wing Garden – An Oasis for Pollinators (and People)!

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Our volunteers worked hard to get the garden prepped, planted and mulched!

On Wednesday evening, 17 volunteers gathered together to plant the first section of Butterfly Wing Garden, our new pollinator patch at Oak Park. The volunteers included members of the 1st AFC Cub Scouts group, folks from the Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House volunteer team, and residents from around Oakville.

The site, which was first stripped of sod by the Town of Oakville, was planted with 81 plants comprised of 16 different pollinator-friendly species, most of which are native to the region. The species list and planting plan were created with input from Sean James, of Sean James Consulting & Design, Cathy Kavassalis, Master Gardener, and Brenda Van Ryswyk, of Conservation Halton. Here’s what we planted in the garden:

  • Butterfly milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa

    Baptisia australis was one of the species planted in the garden.
  • Wild geranium – Geranium maculatum
  • Virginia mountain mint – Pycnanthemum virginianum
  • Anise hyssop – Agastache foeniculum
  • Wild strawberry – Fragaria virginiana
  • Sky blue aster – Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
  • Blue false indigo – Baptisia australis
  • Black eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta
  • Foxglove beardtongue – Penstemon digitalis
  • Smooth aster – Symphyotrichum laeve
  • Pale purple coneflower – Echinacea pallida
  • Coastal plain Joe Pye weed – Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe’
  • Dense blazing star – Liatris spicata
  • Little bluestem – Schizachyrium scoparium
  • Switch grass – Panicum virgatum
  • Indian grass – Sorghastrum nutans

While this is the first planting event organized for the garden, it is certainly not the last. The larger ‘wing’ of the garden is being solarized over the summer, and we will begin planting it in the fall. Pollinator plants are also slated to be added to the community garden nearby. The end result will be about 700 square feet of pollinator habitat that will support a diversity of native pollinators, including bees, butterflies and birds.

The completed garden – we can’t wait to watch it grow!

In addition to supporting local biodiversity, we hope the patch will serve as an inspiration that will encourage more Oakville residents to create pollinator habitat in their own backyard. By creating an appealing space that can be visited by Wellspring House visitors, community gardeners and neighbours, the garden will demonstrate that native plants can be both functional and beautiful! It will also be a great spot for education and citizen science – in fact, we already visited the site as part of our How to Plant a Pollinator Patch workshop series this spring.

Like any garden, our new Butterfly Wing Garden will need regular maintenance, particularly as it is getting established in its first couple of years. We are looking for volunteers to be Garden Stewards and help us with the weeding and watering of the garden over the summer. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact info@oakvillegreen.org.

This project would not have been possible without help from the Town of Oakville, Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, Sean James, Cathy Kavassalis, Brenda Van Ryswyk and our many volunteers, as well as financial support from Landscape Ontario. All of Oakvillegreen’s community stewardship and training programs are supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. We thank everyone who has been involved in making this project a success!

We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our volunteers, and everyone who made this possible!

You can visit our Butterfly Wing Garden at 2545 Sixth Line in Oakville (parking available on Hays Blvd). For more information, contact info@oakvillegreen.org.

Learn more about supporting pollinators in Oakville HERE.

 

This project was generously supported by:

 

Welcome Jenn! Our Summer Stewardship Intern

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We are so pleased to welcome Jennifer Lee to our team for the summer! Thanks to the Canada Summer Jobs program, Jennifer will be helping us role out A LOT of Oakville summer Tree Care Days and also monitoring our past restoration plantings!

Stay tuned, as Jenn will also be coordinating volunteers to care for our Glen Abbey Community Centre Pollinator Garden and our new Memorial Park pollinator patch!

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bishop’s University, and is currently studying Environmental Technology at Durham College. She hopes to eventually pursue a career in environmental conservation.

Spring Planting Complete for Backyard Tree Planting Program!

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We are excited to announce that last Friday marked the last day of planting for our new Oakville Backyard Tree Planting Program!

This beautiful hackberry tree was planted in Oakville this spring, along with a red oak, Eastern white cedars and several native shrubs. It was a total yard transformation!

We are delivering the program in collaboration with LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), and the pilot project is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Full-Service program includes a yard consultation with a certified arborist, a 5 to 8 foot tall native deciduous tree (or 2 to 4 foot conifer), delivery, planting service and tree care information, all for a subsidized price. There is also a Do-It-Yourself version of the program for those who wish to plant in their front yard or just want to get their hands dirty and plant their own tree! The program offers native shrubs and garden kits for delivery as well.

We received an extremely positive response from Oakville residents this spring, and have delivered and planted 66 trees and 70 shrubs in yards all over Oakville since the program launched last October. The trees and shrubs are all native species, and were chosen for each yard based on their suitability for the yard’s conditions.

Thanks to funding from the Town of Oakville, we will be continuing the program in the fall, and our fall planting season will run from late September through November. We are continuing to conduct yard consultations over the summer for those who wish to have trees planted in the fall – you can sign up at www.yourleaf.org. The program is first-come, first-served, so sign up early to have your pick of species!