The Butterfly Way – February 12, 2024

The Butterfly Way – February 12, 2024

Speaker- Colleen Cirillo

In response to declining pollinator populations in Canada and around the world, the David Suzuki Foundation initiated the Butterfly Way Project in 2017. Since then, participation has grown from 120 volunteers in five cities to 1,500 in 300 towns and cities. Learn about the project’s intentions and impact and the amazing Rangers who inspire and deliver it.

Colleen has spent many years in the world of nature interpretation, protection and restoration, including 12 years at Toronto and Region Conservation and 2.5 years at Ontario Nature. From 2015 to 2020, she was Director of Education at the Toronto Botanical Garden. In this capacity, Colleen brought a conservation and sustainability perspective to programs, policies and practices. Since January 2022, she has worked with David Suzuki Foundation on the Butterfly Way Project.

Colleen has served on many committees and boards, including those of Ontario Invasive Plant Council, NANPS, LEAF and Project Swallowtail. Since 2009, Colleen has chaired the Horticulture Outreach Collaborative (HOC), which brings together ecologists and horticulturalists to protect native plant diversity in Ontario. The Grow Me Instead guide, now in its third edition, is HOC’s most popular initiative.

Long ago, Colleen completed undergraduate and Master’s degrees in environment and resource studies. It was an urban tree-planting gig following her first year of university that turned her on to native plants. This obsession continues today.

Colleen’s family members accuse her of loving her garden more than them. Sometimes the truth hurts.