A Walk Through Our Work: From Wildflowers to Wetlands

Our Native Wildflower Garden in Winnipeg is in Full Bloom!

A Sierra Club Canada Member volunteers at our flower garden in WinnipegThe garden we planted last summer has seen a lot of growth! Monarch caterpillars can be found all over the milkweed at the Winnipeg garden right now!

Milkweed is known as the host-plant for monarchs, as the butterflies only lay eggs on milkweed plants and the caterpillars only feed on milkweed leaves. The reason for this, is that monarchs have developed a resistance against the toxic compounds (cardenolides) found in the milky sap of milkweed. While ingesting the toxic compounds doesn’t affect the monarchs, predators who eat them will become ill. So, feeding on milkweed has become a chemical defence against predators.

North American monarchs migrate from Mexico’s oyamel fir forests to the northern US and southern Canada, following milkweed plants north as they emerge in spring. It takes several generations of butterflies to complete the migration.

In July of 2022, shortly before we planted the wildflower garden in Winnipeg, the migratory monarch butterfly was listed as an endangered species by the IUCN. We included swamp milkweed (one of the monarch’s favourite species of milkweed) in the garden to support the monarch population.

Are you in Winnipeg and would like to help out? Email us at at winnipeg@sierraclub.ca

Protecting Wetlands in Saskatchewan

In early June, a group of environmental groups in the Regina area held a press conference to raise awareness and concerns about WSA’s new drainage policy.

This new drainage policy will be announced this fall and is supposed to mitigate impacts to biodiversity / wildlife, water quality, and water quantity.

It featured talks by Aura lee MacPherson with the Calling Lakes EcoMuseum, along with the Saskatchewan Alliance for Water Sustainability (SAWS), the Citizen’s Environmental Alliance, and NDP WSA Critic Erika Ritchie.

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This article is part of our Summer 2023 newsletter, The Activist.