A Scarborough councillor says a seed planted his ward - turning hydro corridors into butterfly meadows - is spreading.
And as the Scarborough Centre Butterfly Trail moves toward its completion this summer, Glenn De Baeremaeker is thinking bigger.
After Toronto and Region Conservation Authority staff briefed Scarborough councillors this month about the trail and its potential for expansion, he’s been talking about duplicating the 80-acre meadow project across the city, and maybe in corridors across 905-area-code suburbs as well.
“People will see Monarch butterflies flitting through their subdivisions,” De Baeremaeker predicted last week.
Certainly, TRCA officials consider the mid-Scarborough trail, which in its fourth year will be in full bloom from Brimley Road to Scarborough Golf Club Road, to be a success.
Its wildflowers and shrubs thrived “beyond expectations,” and the surrounding communities have embraced it, said Arlen Leeming, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority project manager for the Don River and Highland Creek watersheds.
Already, the area is seeing more Monarchs and bird species, he said.
De Baeremaeker’s larger-scale vision would take a lot of agreements in place.
“This is a very new idea,” but in many ways the trail project has kickstarted conversation about what hydro corridors can be, Leeming said.
“People are looking at this all over the Toronto region.”
The final section of the trail east of Markham Road - first planted with soy beans after tractors turn the soil to break up the corridor’s thick carpet of grass - will be sown with flowers this year.
A public planting is being organized on June 3 by Bendale Junior Public School.
Though the TRCA hasn’t announced them yet, smaller patches north of The Scarborough Hospital’s General campus and another by the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre - both are outside De Baeremaeker’s ward - could be prepared this year for planting.
Cycling and walking paths are laid along the trail, and manicured strips of lawn remain along these paths, backyard fences and roads.
De Baeremaeker said he hopes to see a path created from the Don River to the Rouge River residents can take without being on a road, though they’d have to cross several.