Kootenay Native Plant Society volunteers are planting 13 sites with more than one million native plant seedlings and seeds. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay Native Plant Society volunteers are planting 13 sites with more than one million native plant seedlings and seeds. Photo: Submitted

Kootenay Native Plant Society launches fall planting season to support monarch butterflies

KNPS aims to plant 13 sites with more than one million native plant seedlings and seeds

Submitted by Kootenay Native Plant Society

Kootenay Native Plant Society has launched its 2022 planting season with the help of a team of volunteers and supporters at Fort Shepherd and Syringa Creek Park in October.

As part of its larger Pollination Pathway Program, KNPS aims to plant 13 sites with more than one million native plant seedlings and seeds including Showy Milkweed, Pink Fairies and Brown-eyed Susans to support pollinating insects in our region, including the red listed Monarch butterfly.

During this active time of year, KNPS celebrates the good work being done by its supporters and partners and is issuing a Call to Action to communities at large.

“When we launched the Pollination Pathway project in 2020, we had a vision of an interconnected web of thriving plant communities, a pathway through our region that could help support bees, butterflies and other pollinators and ensure their abundance in the West Kootenays,” says KNPS founder and program manager Valerie Huff.

“And we have already had success, with evidence the endangered Monarch butterfly is using the planting sites in the Lower Columbia and summer students reporting active and varied bee visitors at sites as well. We are grateful a large and growing community is engaged with our work and is eager to see the planting sites developing and thriving. There is a real buzz about our program you might say.”

Other ways to get involved include donating to support planting sites or volunteering-planting days, seed collecting and information booths and presentations are just a few ways KNPS welcomes engagement and support.

“As a community there is always more we can do and we invite people from across our region to join our Call to Action to protect the endangered Monarch with a few simple steps including protecting already successful host sites like those we have identified, and ensuring that if you are able to plant Milkweed in your yard on neighbourhood, you are planting Showy Milkweed that is native to our area, and it is free of pesticides. They will have the greatest success establishing here.”

More details on the work of Pollination Pathway and the Monarch Call to Action (including where to buy pesticide free native plants) can be found at www.kootneynativeplants.ca or on their Facebook or Instagram pages or emailing by info@kootenaynativeplants.ca.

KNPS planting days and the Pollination Pathway program are generously supported by Columbia Basin Trust, BC Parks, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and BC Gaming, as well as a number of community donors and volunteers. Warm thanks to sponsors who kindly contributed to our recent planting days: Teck Trail Operations, FWCP’s Community Engagement Grant, Kootenay Savings Credit Union and Waneta Sunshine Rotary.