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Urquhart Butterfly Garden - Update and Directions
Donald Davis (Donald_Davis@stubbs.woodsworth.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 5 Aug 1997 11:35:05 -0500
OFFICIAL OPENING OF URQUHART BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The Urquhart Butterfly Garden in Centennial Park, Dundas, Ontario official=
ly opened on Saturday July 26th. After 5 years of fundraising and construc=
tion, this glorious haven for butterflies is ready to spread its wings.
One fine 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 provided the impetus for Canada'=
s first Municipal Butterfly Garden. The garden provides not only the flower=
ing nectar plants for the adult butterflies, but also the green leafy food =
plants required by their offspring, the caterpillars.=20
This garden has already caught the imagination and support of people acros=
s Canada and the United States. Since the planning began 5 years ago, over =
500 letters have been received - many enclosing donations towards the garde=
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 are also 3 natural areas. The garden is situated at th=
e east of Centennial Park at the end of the Desjardins Canal, and is comple=
tely free of herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.
The interpretive panels on the information kiosk are packed with informati=
on about the lives of butterflies and the history of the garden, all beauti=
fully illustrated with excellent nature photographs.
The garden relies heavily on volunteer skills and labour. The maintenance =
team meets every fine Tuesday at Centennial Park and works from 5:30 pm unt=
il dusk. Volunteers are always welcome.
The Garden is located in Dundas, Ontario, directly west of the City of Ham=
ilton, Ontario. It is situated at the terminus of the historic Desjardins C=
anal and hence is directly adjacent to the renowned Cootes Paradise nature =
preserve and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Nearby is McMaster University. Ta=
ke Highway =23403 to the Main Street West exit. Take Main Street West (left=
turn) to Cootes Drive. Follow Cootes Drive down into the valley to the out=
skirts of Dundas. On your right, you will see the Ben Velduis Cactus Greenh=
ouses. The first street is East Street. Turn right and immediately on your =
right is Centennial Park. At the far right end is the Desjardins Canal and=
the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.=20
Those wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Garden, or who w=
ish to help out on Tuesday evenings with grooming and maintaining the Garde=
n should contact Joanna Chapman at: Phone (905) 627-5370 Fax (905) 6=