Ambleside Butterfly Garden

Master Gardeners West Vancouver

Grant Program: Community Grants, Donor Advised

Funds: Nancy Farran Compelling Opportunities Fund and a donation by Godfrey Lynum

Grant Recipient: Master Gardeners, VanDusen, West Vancouver

Program Goals: 

1. To offer an opportunity for the general public to learn about the importance of pollinators.
2. To provide a community resource for multiple program options.
3. To demonstrate environmentally responsible gardening practices.

Program Accomplishments:

The group was able to plant in an underused but highly-visible location.  This resulted in the development of a beautiful public garden and vibrant community group that accomplished far more than the organizers ever imagined.

The project brought a group of volunteers together to design then plant the garden that has plants that will bloom from January until December to support butterfly and bee activity that occurs all year in our mild Pacific North West region. The garden has become a community resource where the public continuously stop to watch and identify butterflies, garden in-the-dirt, and develop activities, events and materials to engage community groups and individuals.

“A butterfly garden seemed to resonate with community members and a large group of volunteers quickly formed who developed a range of activities to engage the public including an outstanding website; citizen science projects; multi-sensory garden for schools and children; garden tour days with scavenger hunts, bee and butterfly id games; five workshops on ecologically-regenerative gardening practices; two field trips and space for an artists’ group to paint. We are working with four community groups that approached us to help them plant butterfly gardens.”

“We have been surprised that we have become known as a source of information and support to gardeners and community groups in less than three months. We were contacted by the David Suzuki Foundation; North Shore Unitarian Church; and Gleneagles, Grand Boulevard and Pemberton Heights neighbourhood groups to help them start butterfly gardens. We can provide information about plant choices, design, sourcing plants, budgeting, and planting and maintenance. (We have also started plants to give to them for no charge to help them get their gardens established.) We love that our garden volunteers are becoming known as a source of information who can be contacted for help. We want to be able to help groups start new butterfly gardens, individuals plant butterfly gardens in their yards and on their balconies so welcome emails through our website.”


On behalf of our Ambleside Butterfly Garden gardening group, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the West Vancouver Foundation for providing the grant that enabled us to plant the garden and to engage community members. We have had a wonderful time being involved in a wide range of activities from maintaining the garden area to putting on casual workshops to draw other community members and groups into the garden. We finished our formal activities yesterday planting 400 crocus and naturalizing, short daffodil bulbs and will now keep on top of weeds until the more active gardening season starts again next year.