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Press Release - Urquhart Butterfly Garden
Donald Davis (Donald_Davis@stubbs.woodsworth.utoronto.ca)
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 00:14:12 -0500
OFFICIAL OPENING OF URQUHART BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The Urquhart Butterfly Garden in Centennial Park, Dundas, Ontario will off=
icially open on Saturday July 26th, at 3:00 pm. After over 5 years of fundr=
aising and construction, this glorious haven for butterflies is ready to sp=
read its wings.
One find day in September 1991, a giant swallowtail butterfly deposited a =
tiny egg of a rue plant in the front garden of a bookshop in downtown Dund=
as. This rare butterfly and her single egg rpvoded the impetus for Canada's=
first Municipal Butterfly Garden. The garden provides not only the floweri=
ng nectar plants for the adult butterflies, but also the green leafy food p=
lants required by their offspring, the caterpillars.=20
This garden has already caught the imagination and support of people acros=
s Canda and the United States. Since the planning began 5 years ago, over 5=
00 letters have been received - many enclosing donations towards the garden=
The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is named in honour of the work and dedicatio=
n of Professor F. A. urquhart and his wife Norah. This remarkable team spen=
t their lives in the scientific research of the Monarch Butterfly. The wint=
ering sites in far-off Mexico were finally discovered in 1975.
This exciting project was fortunate to receive over 40% of its funding fro=
m the Federal Government (Environment Canada). The remainder of the money w=
as donated by local foundations, corporations and individuals.
The project consists of 6 huge raised planting beds, surrounded with a maz=
e of walkways. There ae also 3 natural areas. The garden is situated at the=
east of Centennial Park at the end of the Desjardins Canal, and is complet=
ely free of herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.
The interpretive pannels on the information kiosk are packed with informat=
ion about the lives of butterflies and the history of the garden, all beaut=
ifuly issustrated with excellent nature photographs.
The garden relies heavily on volunteer skills and labour. The maintenance =
team mets every fine Tuesday at Centennial Park and works from 5:30 pm unti=
l dusk. Volunteers are always welcome.
Interested membesr of the public are welcome to join the opening celebrati=
ons at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden on Saturday, July 26th at 3:00 pm. The=
celebrations feature the music of Lisbeth Whittier Clark and the Dandylyon=
s and Irish dancers from the O'Raighne School of Irish Dancing. If it rains=
, the event will be held at the Velduis Cactus Greenhouses.
CONTACT: Joanna Chapman Phone (905) 627-5270 Fax (905) 627-9300
Joanna Chapman and her Butterfly Coalition are to be congratulated for rais=
ing about =2470,000 to complete this project.
Dr. Fred Urquhart, and his wife, Norah, are world-renowned pioneers in the =
field of Insect Migration Research. They have received many awards and hono=
urs, including the W.W. H. Gunn Trophy - the highest award presented annual=
ly by the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. They advocated for the protec=
tion and preservation of wildlife habitat and for a reduction in the use of=
pesticides and herbicides - long before the importance of dealing with the=
se issues was recognized. Dr. Urquhart began his study of the monarch butt=
erfly 60 years ago this year - back in 1937=21 Both Dr. and Mrs. Urquhart d=
eserve credit for cultivating a respect and appreciation for invertebrates =
over a number of generations. In Mexico, the Urquharts remain highly regard=
ed and fondly remembered by those working and living near the monarch butte=
rfly overwintering sites. Dr. Urquhart was an author and lecturer for many=
years at the University of Toronto. Among his students was noted author Fa=
rley Mowat=21 The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is a fitting tribute to a very =
Phone/Fax (416) 638-7738
Dr. Urquhart celebrated his 85th birthday last December. The Urquharts will=
not be able to attend the Opening Ceremony, but will be sending a special =
message of greeting to be read during the Official Opening. </x-fontsize><x=