The City of Saint-Lazare's council committed to implementing policies to restore monarch habitats and increase public awareness in 2021. After two years, the city's efforts to preserve this iconic butterfly have been recognized with a GOLD designation.
Implementing the twenty-four (24) measures included in the Monarch Friendly City initiative earned them this title. Launched in 2015 by the David Suzuki Foundation, the initiative aims to highlight the efforts made by municipalities to protect the monarch butterfly.
PHOTO: Ville de Saint-Lazare
Like other pollinating insects, the monarch protects the basic process of plant reproduction that is necessary for the survival of all other species, including humans. Nevertheless, their population has decreased by 90% in the past 20 years! The decrease in monarchs can be attributed to several factors, including habitat loss, pesticide use, increased agricultural land, and a reduction in milkweeds. Because milkweed is the only plant that caterpillars can eat and lay their eggs on, it is vital to their survival.
The Ville de Saint-Lazare has taken the following actions since 2021:
distribution of free milkweed seeds on Environment Day and other occasions;
preservation of milkweed colonies in open areas and the vicinity of governmental structures;
the development of demonstration gardens attracting monarchs to entice people to include native plants that produce nectar in their landscapes;
enforcing the 2000 pesticide embargo, which is the primary reason for the decrease in pollinating insects;
planning activities to increase public awareness of the monarch butterfly's plight;
ecological control of plants in flowerbeds and in public spaces,
the launch of the first environmental landscaping competition, which encouraged people to garden in a way that would benefit insects.
For more information on the actions you can take, visit the David Suzuki Fondation Butterflyway project page.